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St. Peter’s Episcopal stands with Detroit

St. Peter’s Episcopal stands with Detroit

On the front of their website, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Detroit proclaims that they are “a welcoming and affirming community working to make a difference in and with Detroit.”

They also state emphatically that they stand with Detroit: against the Michigan governor’s plan that appointed an Emergency Manager for the city.

The Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann is the United Methodist “Pastor-in-charge” under appointment to St Peter’s since 2006. On March 14th Wylie-Kellermann issued a call on Opening of Detroit to gather at city hall to peacefully and creatively protest the Emergency Manager:


Disaster capitalism, shock doctrine, corporate state occupation, emergency management is coming to Detroit as to every other black city in Michigan. It’s time to declare yourself. We are past due. Late, but not too late. Passive lukewarm gets spewed out as they say. Friends with commitment to justice, workers and union members, left analysts and allies, nonviolence trainers, homeowners and homelosers, students in the pipeline or out, suburban sympathizers, church and faithfolk, community developers, and even non-profiteers who stand to benefit – it’s time to get in the way. It’s time to resist this with our bodies. Which side are you on?

We will need to make this city creatively ungovernable even as we create forms of democracy in exile, democracy from below.

If nothing more, be at the State Building on W Grand Blvd today Thursday at 2pm (God knows they will change the time and place to avoid the people when they make the announcement). But be there, be seen, be in the way. And plan for more. Detroit spring is just beginning.

Bill Wylie Kellermann

Pastor, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Detroit

Opening of Detroit prominently states that this is now day 10 of the “occupation” by the Emergency Manager. They also have analysis posted here.

Reports can be found at numerous places:

The New York Times reported, in an article by Monica Davey, on the appointing of Kevyn Orr as the Emergency Manager on March 14th.

James Kiertzner of reports on current litigation, and provides links to orders signed by the Detroit EM.

Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that Mayor David Bing and emergency manager Kevyn Orr refused the request of protestors to meet with them.

David Sands on Huffington Post focuses on a non-profit group called the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership whose efforts include the call to “band together into new democratic groupings independent from the EM.”


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Weiwen (Hi! We knew each other in Ann Arbor’s OASIS), I respectfully disagree.

There’s never any excuse to abolish democracy—LEAST of all to a predominantly African-American city. Does Detroit have profound, endemic socio-economic problems? Of course. But, as a wise person once told me, “the answer to the problems of democracy is MORE democracy”. NOT having Detroit’s “betters” in Lansing take over (ala a “White Men’s Burden”: yes, that’s what’s happening).

God bless&defend the Resistance in Motown!

JC Fisher

Weiwen Ng

I am not in Michigan, but my understanding is that the emergency manager may be the least bad option available for Detroit. The city’s tax base has evaporated. It has to restructure its contracts. And its administration is recovering from a long period under a corrupt mayor (Kilpatrick).

I find much to disagree with in Gov. Snyder’s policies, but again, I’d urge readers not to reflexively decry the appointment of emergency managers. Snyder is not abridging the right to unionize. He is implementing emergency procedures that make it possible to modify contracts … but this may be justifiable given that Michigan’s economy is not in good shape and the finances of a number of municipalities may validly be considered in an emergency state. Particularly Detroit’s.

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