City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson during a press conference announcing a lawsuit to stop the Emergency Manager law in the state of Michigan. The law provides for the abolition of local control. (Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Anti-Emergency Manager Rally Held at Detroit Church
Updated: Friday, 30 Dec 2011, 10:28 PM EST
Published : Friday, 30 Dec 2011, 10:27 PM EST
By RONNIE DAHL
WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com
DETROIT (WJBK) - As Detroit undergoes a review of its financial plans and inches closer to having the state bring in an emergency manager, a group of concerned citizens got together Friday to say no way.
In a small church on Detroit's east side, a movement is gaining strength one person at a time.
"United we can do anything. That's been proven historically, so if we just get together and put aside personality and put forth progress, we can do anything," said Jimmy Rutherford.
They joined together in the name of Kwanza, but their focus is on something else -- keeping the City of Detroit out of the hands of an emergency manager.
"Tonight's purpose is to stand up against dictatorship, against fascism. The financial manager law is unconstitutional. It's unlawful," said Minister Malik Shabazz.
"It's unfair because it takes away our voting rights," said Detroit resident Wanda Redmond.
Detroit is one of the oldest cities of the Midwest, but it's currently struggling to turn around a $200 million budget shortfall.
Shabazz is working to motivate citizens to fight the governor's power to assign an emergency manager. He believes Detroit can succeed in getting the law overturned, even when others have failed.
"We're not going to allow the hands of the human rights clock or the civil rights clock to be turned backwards," Shabazz said. "They keep taking and taking and taking from Detroit. Why not leave us alone. That's all we want. Leave us alone and let us govern ourselves."
The governor has assigned a ten person review team to go ahead and look further into Detroit's finances. They're expected to get started in January.
You can expect in the coming weeks a lot more people will be getting behind the protest to stop the emergency manager law. It remains to see if they can be successful.