Saturday, June 26, 2010


I picked up enough literature from various organizations to fill up a small suitcase. So much to learn about the many sites of resistance and sites of creativity. It is also interesting to see how decentralized this entire event has been and most amazing to see the leadership  of young people. Grace Lee Boggs' emphasis in all of her talks is about the need to give young folks every opportunity to develop their leadership skills, share with them an alternative vision, and then let them take responsibility.
On Friday, I spoke briefly with one young black man from Detroit on the way to a rally at the Chase tower (to stop foreclosures); he is a junior in high school and is planning to move to California and go to Berkeley. He is part of a youth organization (didn't catch the name) and he said most of the members had returned to Berkeley and he was asked to document the rest of the forum so he was running back and forth between events with his video camera.

The rally at Chase Bank was successful as the management decided to meet with the organizers to discuss the demands of the community to stop the foreclosures. Another rally today (Sat) was held at the proposed incineration site. There was twice the size of rallyists at this site than at Chase.

There was also a Healing Walks led by the Indigenous People's Assembly from Cobo to Fort Wayne. It is a 5-mile walk. I wonder how many went with the group. I wasn't able to go.
One of the objectives of the USSF was to support the Detroit communities that are being assaulted by the plans of the city government to: close all the public schools and turn them over to private entities; to contract the size of Detroit and gentrify within city limits. From what I've learned, the communities that are going to be most affected by these changes have not been consulted. So now these communities are mobilizing, creating alternatives and showing the city government the potential for re-envisioning and re-spiriting the city. The new slogan 'Detroit City of Hope' is the mantra around here. Very encouraging. and very scary.
On Thursday night, the forum celebrated Grace Lee Boggs' 95th birthday. Two hours wasn't enough to have time for all the thanksgiving and expressions of gratitude for her commitment to Detroit for more than have a century. Today, another bday party at the Boggs Center was a continuation of those praises. But Vince HArding reminded those present that Grace will not always be around and so he gave those present the charge to continue the great work of the Boggs Center.

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