In wake of Occupy Wall Street, plans develop for Occupy Detroit

October 5, 2011

Area activists will gather at the Spirit of Hope Church at 1519 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Detroit on Monday to discuss plans for a protest dubbed “Occupy Detroit.”

Occupy Wall Street protesters on Broadway last Friday. (Photo by Tom Good/NLN)

The planned protest — to begin Oct. 21 — is an offshoot of  the Occupy Wall Street protest that has been continuing in New York City since September 17,  centering on economic injustice and the plight of average Americans. It has since spread to a number of other cities, including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Denver and Washington, D.C.

“This is meant to be a peaceful nonviolent act of civil disobedience,” said Alexandra Borngesser, a member of the Occupy Detroit and Lansing Volunteer Group. “I’m hoping that the population of metro Detroit can get involved because Detroit is so directly affected by big business and economic hardship.”

Occupy Detroit has already gathered over 1,800 followers on its Facebook page — and the numbers are growing daily.

“Everyone who has suffered financial injustice is welcome,” the group’s Facebook page states. “If you’ve had no voice, please join us in this peaceful occupation. Together, we will be heard!”

Current plans include using Roosevelt Park in front of the Michigan Central Station as the base camp for the protest, where marchers will make their way towards Grand Circus Park, Hart Plaza and the Financial District.

“Corporations have a disproportionate influence in the political sphere and no one is in favor of evicting struggling families to the street while banks continue to profit,” said Borngesser. “We need to bring this country back to its roots, back to a place where America is represented by a government of the people, for the people, by the people … instead of one controlled by big business and large corporations.”

Plans also include a candlelight vigil for Troy Davis to be held on the night of Oct. 21. Davis was executed Sept. 21 in Georgia in a murder case — growing out of the 1989 shooting of a police officer — that provoked widespread controversy and a number of protests because of doubts about his guilt and questions about the handling of his case.

Meanwhile, observers of the movement are commenting not only on its geographic spread around the country, but the range of supporters. Besides support from labor unions, the protest supporters now include public left intellectuals like Cornel West and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University.

This is a video of Stiglitz’s address to protesters on Sunday. The unusual “echo chamber” delivery was a way of dealing with a ban on bullhorns to communicate with the gathering.

  • Solongmaryann

    Marching down to the financial district?! And is listening in Detroit?! All the wealthy businesses?!?! If people want to join together to do something for Detroit, instead of a group moaning session, why not hold meetings and come up with ideas on how to attract new industries to the city! The city of Detroit, not Metro Detroit, needs help more than any other place in Michigan. Create some attention around what Detroit could potentially offer businesses. We need jobs for those still remaining in the city and we need to draw people back in! Also, groups could organise some social programs to help both adults and children in the city. Detroit is like a big blank canvas with so many vacant lots and buildings. Organize artists to work on community spaces, gardens, safe and creative places that will draw people in and create some positive attention!

  • Dan

    Marching and protesting is a moan fest?  Since when did speaking your mind and making a point become complaining and griping? I agree with your ideas, but we can’t do everything at once especially when things aren’t properly funded.

  • LarsB

    Call me a throwback to the seventies, but, my lament has been “Where is everyone?” Of course what “so long” is stating is indeed the best approach, but I believe as human beings who DO give a sh-t about others, we need to vent, wax cathartic as it were. Show up!  None of us is untouched by the banking atrocities that attack the very existence of the working poor to the status of homeless.

    I will work on your commitees, but I will be there Oct. 21, to let them know there Is Power In Numbers! That we have had enough! I wont bore you with my story, or the countless stories of my freinds and family. I’m sure you have your own. Please do inquire, see if this is for you, for us!  If anyone has more info than the little offered in the attached article, I would greatly appreciate it. I am available to help timewise, but as a cancer patient, limited as to the physicallity that may be involved. Look forward to response.

  • Billy

    In this city. . .what a huge waste of time. Be sure to leave the area cleaner than when you arrived. This way, at least some good will come of your “venting.”

  • Taco Loco

    Will do, just make sure you stay home and enjoy your country being run into  the ground by your corporate overlords while the rest of us are out there doing your work for you. 

  • Allan38775

    Corporate greed has caused the Recession most of us are suffering under and corproate money is helping to buy politicians and subvert democracy so money can continue to be funneled from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.  The richest 400 families have more wealth than the poorest 150 MILLION Americans.  He have far greater wealth stratification than ANY other developed nation and its just getting worse.  Its time to wake up and this is as good a beginning as any.

  • LarsB

    to bill:   Let me guess, although youre completley unaware that education,fortitude through self realization of your worth, and either unemployed or miserably employed elude you, due to the very factors we protest, You think less of yourself than to be heard.  Take another pill., or better yet, see you Oct. 21!

  • Donkey

    Maybe you people should protest the REAL people who have caused this.

    Go to Lansing and protest. Don’t protest businesses who are just doing what legislature has allowed them to do.

  • guest

    I’ll be there!

  • Sue

    Why are they going to protest in Detroit?   Why don’t they go to where the businesses went, like Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Southfield, Royal Oak, Rochester, Auburn Hills, Troy, etc.?   And they are going to meet in front of a building that has been empty for 20 years?   I guess they want to protest to the ghosts there… 

  • Kirharneg2

    All valid points, all,
    Let’s meet and protest as the other dities have/ are doing in a more timely fashion- like next week, early- while these other protests are going on and do so in front of our state capital building to let our legislature know there are people here in Michigan who also feel as those in Boston, L.A., NY, NY, Portland. Don’t wanna lose momentum or protest in areas which are struggling and trying to hang onto their workers and jobs.

  • ADown

    Cmon guys read about what you’re protesting for. The big banks and wall street SUPPORT the tax plan this movement advocates. It doesn’t actually do anything to make the big bank and corporations PAY WHAT THEY SHOULD for controlling this country and running it into the ground. The obama regime is run by ex-wall streeters who still get money for supporting these businesses, why would the buffet tax plan they support (and these protesters do as well) actually make big business accountable? We are so uninformed as a nation its scary. They have us tricked.

  • Chippewa

    I posted earlier and am bummed that it was not approved.  Sadly I did not copy and paste it so that I could try to resubmit. 

  • theraininspring

    its called civil disobedience and its an essential part of our constitutional rights.

  • Drkocan

    Action Proposals, now, for our children and grandchildren:
    1)  Wall Street casino?–Ordinary income taxes on all Wall Street trading except the “Job Creators”– Initial Purchase Offerings (IPOs), and Secondary offerings;
    2)  50,000 factories closed?– Emergancy Tariff Act (ETA), 20% sales tax on imported products (applied to Federal debt).
    3)  Too many lobbyists?–Raise Congressional pay to $1,000,000  and a pension of $25,000 for each year served.

  • Anonymous

    All I can say to this is “bolshevik”!

  • Nick

    LarsB, if you have cancer, I just wanted to tell you that you should seek out medical marijuana from a state that can assist you legally as soon as you possibly can, while america bans the testing and research epecially on humans, other countries have not.  Studies were done in Spain (the have a great medical system), and they have tested on cancer patients and proven that it kills cancer cells, I REALLY HOPE YOU SEE THIS.  Try to have an open mind, your life may depend on it.  The research is available on the internet… and the cannabis was extracted and then taken at a particular dose   at a rate of 3 capsules daily for about 2-3 months.  Pharmacists DO NOT HAVE THIS… you must find a grower who makes high quality cannabis and have them make it… some might even do it for low cost or free.  The michigan Medical Marijuana system would allow you to get help and fast.


  • TypicalIdiots.

     This occupy movement is absolutely stupid. A gathering of that many people could actually do something productive for their perspective cities, instead they choose to complain about matters that are completely outside the control of thousands of mindless kids. They were born privileged with a roof over their head and food easily accessible, and its still not enough.

  • Anonymous

    No businesses want to come to a city where they are financially punished for setting up shop and no one wants to move to a city where they are financially punished for working where they live.

    The t-shirts don’t work.

  • Allen

    Dear typical idiot, In the past 30 years, our political and economic system has been manipulted to the point that 1% of the nation’s population now controls 40% of its wealth.  This is a far higher degree of income stratification than any other developed country.  There are organizations such as ALEC in which corporate CEOc actuslly meet with Republican lawmakers to draft for them the laws they want to further deregulate themselve while busting unions.  The middle class is dying.  We taxpayers gave in effect a 1.2 trillion dollar bailout to Wall Street after their recklessness, greed and corruption wrecked the nation’s economy.  They thanked us by paying themselves 135 billion in slaries and bonuses afterward.  People are hungry, homeless, jobless and tired of being shafted by the rich and by their pet congressmen.  As for “mindless kids”, I’m in my mid-50s and will be standing in solidarity with them.

  • Pingback: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Occupy Detroit | Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog

  • Justin Duncan

    No, not enough to spend several thousand dollars on higher education, only to enter a market completely lacking jobs. You have to get off the milk eventually, “typicalidiot.”

  • Jon

    The doctors who did this research also said do not smoke pot as a means for a cure. Nick was going to inform you of this too, but then he got high.

  • Tom Laverty

    Occupy the Federal Reserve, if you want to occupy something.

  • Phil parada

    I think you are the one that is stupid,the financial ruin the global corparate complex has visited on us (american people) has to be probably think you are a republican, right! lol! 

  • Pingback: CBS falsely claims Occupy Wall Street has only spread to 25 cities « progressivetoo

  • Anonymous

    Do you know any of the people who are there? The “kids” that are there are almost all over the age of 18, with the bulk of them being their mid 20′s. Not really kids. Also they don’t even make up 50% of the crowd. As for “privileged” think again. There is a growing number of “kids” who now live at the occupation because they have NO HOME. Their parents have been forced out of their homes, and told their children “sorry your an adult, time for you to act like one.” Having gone through this same situation it is not easy to get a job once you have become homeless. Even if you can find a place to sleep and shower, the physical stress of very little food and uncomfortable nights dulls your  mind. Showing that you are a hard worker and ready for the task is nearly impossible when you are shaking from low blood sugar, and your eyes are surrounded by dark circles from a lack of quality sleep. Not to mention if you do find a job it will likely NOT be what you have a degree in and be minimum wage. Min wage jobs are notorious for not giving 40 hours a week. Please enlighten me how you are supposed to pay for : Rent, Utilities, Car Insurance, Health Insurance, Food, and Gas on $850.00 a month? Plus save up for all of the financial emergencies everyone has like car and home repairs. Its not possible. This is the situation Occupy Wall St. wants to end. WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR FREE MONEY, WE JUST WANT THE SAME CHANCES THE GENERATIONS BEFORE US HAD. (AKA JOBS) FYI – I am 25, I have 2  bachelor degrees, and 1 associates, in 3 prominent fields. I have $20,000 in student loan debt and make $9.00 and hour as a security guard.

  • Noneya

    Right on Solongmaryann.  If these people would complain less and get to work they could make things better.  The problem is that it’s harder than screaming about financial injustice while living off daddy’s money and the government dole, so I don’t expect these sort to actually do anything positive.

  • Ksleem01

    We have been growing up being told about our freedoms learning everyday  about people who have died for us to make us equals. When do we say enough to people who are all take take take and then complain about when we are in financle ruin. Detroit is an amazing  city to hold this peaceful protest in because of people like Kwamie Kilpartrick stealing money and everyone turns a blind eye because they are getting a peice of the cheese. Why dose everything in our politics have to have to have an agenda. the highest contributer or the thing that makes the Most money for polititons ..wins, not what the people want. Why cant we get rid of the middle man and have each person decide about  what rules and laws they want so that the majority wins. How it should be. No way a sick political twist can cause that many people to sway their vote. and if it screws everything up we have our selves to blame. If its not something you care about then  people wont have to vote on that issue and if its something that effects you then get up and vote for what you want.  Keep things simple. this greed has to stop and to pretend its not their in most cases your only fooling yourself. Living our lives day by day is fine but haveing a bunch of igorant drones running around not knowing whats going on is just ridiculus. People need to stand up finally relize that this is just going to get worse and worse untill  we lose every choice  we once had.  We still have a law in effect saying that if they have any  reason to think your a terrorist they can raid your house and hold you without cause but we know it has in the past used against regular innocent citizens and if put into the wrong hands it can be used aganst the people. why don’t people care about this? i dont get it someone should air all the bullshit out and get people mad cause i love my country and what it orignally stood for and i will not lay back and be taken advatage of .

  • Ss

    This isnt an attack on the small businesses that the economy thrives on, this is an attack of the huge banks and corporations that have financially raped the entire country. CEO’s getting bailouts then turning around to buy jets, cutting jobs, all the while increasing THEIR bonuses and severance packages. These people who buy politicians and string them up like puppets. Thats what we are protesting. If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

  • Ss

    Really, just go to work? Its that easy? I graduated college and it took me 2 years to find a job, 2 years!!! With a college degree. This shouldnt be happeneng. Your ignorant assumtptions that everybody that is part fo the movement is on welfare or living off of some imaginary trust fund is laughable. I think you need to read al ittle more into what the people are actually protesting. Its beyond finding a job. Its beyond money. You fool.

  • Ss

    To all the tards misinformed about the scary protesters. Seriously, stop using your Fox News republican education and think for a moment. This isnt an attack on business. Business is good, small businesses is what runs the country (used too). This an attack on the corporate dogs that have screwed then entire country, even you republicans who take every chance to bash young people protesting about something. The huge banks and corporations that take away money from YOUR kids, that send jobs over seas putting more people on welfare, yes welfare people that you always seem to complain about are on welfare because the jobs are being cut. Cut because the politicians YOU voted in give breaks to their buddies runnign things. This is a movement against the corporate influence these corporate thugs have on how our country is run. They think they can buy influence and when they fail, the first thing they cut is the working people. CEO’s that fail dont get a decrease in salary, no they actually increase their bonus, buy a jet, and get a large severance package. Not one CEO from these corporations has taken responsibility, tightened their own belts and took a pay decrease, noep they just cut more jobs so they can keep their pay or get more money. The country is being ran int the ground, and these peopel have enough money to withstand any recession. They dont care. Theyre set for life. It is within our own interests that we throw these tyrants out or teach them a lesson.

  • Holisticwell

    Remember that the U.S. Government had to be shamed into giving the very sick First Responders Health Care Coverage