Detroit’s Organized Resistance

Transcribed from the 6 December 2014 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:


“This neoliberal project is being pushed incredibly hard by Snyder’s office; it is being pushed by Washington, by New York, by the White House. But I don’t think it’s going to be successful.”

Chuck Mertz: Journalist Laura Gottesdiener has written the TomDispatch piece Two Detroits, Separate and Unequal: A Journey Across a City Divided. Welcome back to This is Hell!, Laura.

Laura Gottesdiener: Thanks for having me.

CM: You start by writing about being driven around Detroit’s well-heeled Palmer Woods neighborhood, a neighborhood that has defined “rich” in Detroit for generations. You write that the guy giving you the tour is commander Dale Brown, founder of Threat Management, a private security company. “Brown’s officers, with their distinctly paramilitary aesthetic, are among the most recognizable of a burgeoning number of private security personnel and surveillance systems scattered across neighborhoods in the former Motor City that people with money have decided are worth protecting.”

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New World Water

AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 5 April 2014 Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) interviewed author and activist Maude Barlow about developments and challenges in the ongoing struggles around the accelerating but widely ignored water crisis.

Her observations about the ‘extreme energy’ frenzy in North America, mobilizations against it, and the need for a focus on water rights within this issue immediately caught our attention when the interview first aired; printing them has been on our back burner for a while. But the news out of Detroit this week heightened our sense of urgency.

Let the record reflect that Barlow’s remarks about Detroit’s coming water cutoffs came almost three months ago. We can only hope that the predictions she shared regarding the complete depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer within our lifetimes prove less accurate. Well, hope is one thing. We could also fight.

“These struggles are coming to communities near you, and the more fracking and extreme energy threaten our water sources, the more we need to band together.”

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