Bob Plain: 'Nowhere In America Needs To Be Occupied More Than The Motor City'

Digital journalist Bob Plain documents the next phase of Occupy Detroit: Nowhere in America needs to be occupied more than the Motor City. ... The idea sprung from two occupiers who started sleeping in an abandoned home on Golden

Digital journalist Bob Plain documents the next phase of Occupy Detroit:

Nowhere in America needs to be occupied more than the Motor City.
...

The idea sprung from two occupiers who started sleeping in an abandoned home on Golden Gate Street in northeast Detroit, where at least half the homes have been literally abandoned. Not even boarded up in many cases. Just left for the taking.

So that’s what Occupy Detroit did.

They helped the occupiers move a wood stove in, and fashioned a makeshift chimney. Then they replaced the boarded up windows with glass bottles, held in place with a mixture of mud and straw.

Then they repeated the process at six other abandoned homes on Golden Gate. Now there are some two dozen people occupying homes that were previously abandoned. Some of the abandoned homes are occupied by young people with the time and gumption to work on a fixer-upper. But others are members of Detroit’s homeless community.

Occupiers say the police don’t mind that they have essentially squatted in the vacant homes.

“They’re trying to solve murders and robberies,” said Eric Shelley, a local audio engineer with handy man skills who has helped teach the other occupiers how to swing a hammer and fix dry wall. “They don’t have time for this.”

The area is a hotbed for drug dealing and prostitution, and oftentimes abandoned homes become either crack houses or brothels.

To that end, Shelley said, “what we’re doing is beneficial to the neighborhood.”

“Our community service became our protest,” he said. “We’re doing what our government is supposed to be doing: providing a social safety net.”

The entire article is well worth reading, and Bob Plain is a wonderful photographer as well. There's a nice photo of the windows you saw in the video made with recycled glass bottles, they're really quite beautiful. You can finish reading here.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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