Protests have continued in Detroit and across the country for many days. The protests demand Stop Killing Black People and press the fight against the police, the government and the system of white supremacy. People in Detroit have put forward 23 demands, and we support those demands. One central demand is Defund the Police. Mayor Duggan’s current budget includes $331 million for the police. We say Defund the Police and put that $331 million to work to meet people’s needs for housing, healthcare, mental health, schools, water and food.
The amount of money that the government, politicians and the ruling class put into repression and oppression is staggering. This useless Wayne County Jail they are building with billionaire Dan Gilbert is costing $575 million. We say not one penny for their damn jail. We say abolish the police and abolish prisons and detention centers and put that money to work to meet the people’s needs. Add up the cop budget and the Wayne County Jail budget, and that’s more than $900 million redirected to meeting people’s needs.
To win the central demands of defending Black lives, means building this fight against the police and the government and the billionaires they serve. It is going to take all of our communities together in this fight to end the war on Black people, to end the system of white supremacy. Black, Latinx, Arab, all of us together to carry this fight through to the end. And we need to unite in Detroit, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Warren, Harper Woods and in every city and town across this region, to defend Black lives and to demand: Stop Killing Black People.
The attacks on Black people are deadly and cut deep. The white supremacist system in Detroit and across the country means Black people are systematically denied adequate healthcare. Hospitals in metro Detroit turned away and refused to treat Black people who were dying from COVID 19. The nurses at Sinai Grace have explained that patients did not receive adequate treatment. Officially more than 1500 people have died from COVID 19 in Detroit. The real numbers are much higher and Black and poor people continue to die without care.
Nearly 2 million people have filed for unemployment in Michigan with an official unemployment rate of more than 25%. Detroit has an unemployment rate of nearly 40%. Many people are unable to pay for rent, bills and food. We face an immediate eviction crisis as 10,000+ people in Detroit and across the region can’t pay rent and face sheriff’s and their eviction squads when the eviction moratorium ends June 30th.
This system takes Black lives by killer cops, by being turned away from medical treatment, by unemployment and by being without housing and food. We are in the streets here in Detroit and across the country and around the world, demanding: Stop Killing Black People. The only way forward is we stay in the streets and continue fighting until we win this very basic demand. Duggan and Chief Craig will talk, but only to divert us and to find ways to weaken our movement. No one is coming to save us. We have to rely on ourselves and our own organizations and our own struggle to win these basic demands. We are up against the cops, the government, the corporations and the ruling class in this fight. Let’s unite our forces. Let’s keep going and let’s not not stop until we get rid of every cop, until we get rid of the system which is Killing Black People, until we get rid of the system of white supremacy once and for all.