Stop Garrets’ eviction: Block the dumpster. Now.

Blocking Garrets' eviction by blocking the dumpster
Blocking the dumpster meant for Garrets' eviction. Photo by Steve Babson.

If you’re reading this at any time on Tuesday, William and Bertha Garret need your help to block delivery of the dumpster meant to cart away everything in their house.

Starting at 6 a.m., the action needs people to stand guard and block the Garrets’ eviction throughout the day. Get to 17795 Pierson Street in northwest Detroit whenever you can.

People held off the dumpster on Monday until the truck carrying it drove away. Today, Bank of  New York Mellon, the company that’s evicting the Garrets from their home of 22 years, will be prepared.

Every single person counts. The Garrets need you today. They need you to stand vigil and they need you at a 5 p.m. rally at their house with People Before Banks, Moratorium Now, and Occupy Detroit.

They need you to take the steps laid out on the People Before Banks coalition’s home page, focused on the plight of Bertha and William Garret.

Bertha and William Garret at home Monday. Photo by Terry Hall

The Bank of New York Mellon foreclosed on the couple after their daughter was laid off and William suffered a stroke, according to the coalition.

Now legally blind and disabled, William needs to stay in the single-story house.

This is not a simple story. Bank of New York Mellon, which got $3 billion in taxpayer bailout money, bought the house at a sheriff’s sale for $12,000.

Bank of New York Mellon negotiated with the Garrets, but not in good faith.

The bank told the Garrets it would sell them their house back for $12,000. The family scraped together the money. Once they had it, the bank boosted the price — in fact, doubled it, according to to $15,000.

This isn’t unusual behavior for Bank of New York. In October, federal and State of New York prosecutors sued the bank for defrauding clients out of $2 billion. The clients? Mostly public and private pension funds, including retirement funds for New York police officers, teachers and firefighters.

Protesters dwarfed by the DIME Building. Photo by Richard Etue

Nor is it surprising that the bank doesn’t want any publicity.

At midday Monday, demonstrators carried anti-foreclosure signs and held a banner in front of the DIME Building in downtown Detroit. Bank of New York Mellon’s offices are on the ninth floor.

A delegation of the Garrets’ supporters met with bank officials in the building’s outsized lobby.

Reportedly, the officials said BNY Mellon never held the mortgage but promised to find out who did. They said they would explain the couple’s status to a coalition attorney.

People Before Banks, Moratorium Now, Occupy Detroit, and community leaders want banks to get the message:

We’re not taking it anymore. Don’t stomp on people’s lives, don’t ignore their needs, don’t take away their homes.


Update 4:45 PM 1/31/2012

According to Steve Babson, activist with the People Before Banks coalition, the bank’s attorney called Bertha and William Garret’s daughter earlier today to work out a deal to keep the couple in their home.

“We have the first steps in the right direction,” Babson said. “We have the bank’s attention.”

Babson said he has no specifics on the arrangement so far, but the family is happy.  The 5 pm rally at the Garrets’ house is ON.

“We’re not declaring victory,” Babson said. “The message is to keep vigilant.”  


Update: 4:00 PM 1/31/2012 

According to Steve Babson, Early reports indicate Bertha and William Garrets now have a deal that will let them stay in their home, but nothing’s in writing. The 5 pm rally at the Garrets’ house is ON.

Until the deal is certain, the Garrets still could be evicted at any time this week. We need everyone there to support this family and their closely knit neighbors.

Videos below: Interviews with Garrets’ neighbors and William Garret; Bertha Garret at the DIME Building demonstration.





"We have the best government that money can buy" - Mark Twain

Defend Our Freedom – Why SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and other bills are a bad idea

Opinions by Stephen Boyle…

I can’t tell you how much I respect TED talks for the level of intelligent discourse they provide. They are usually very well thought through and researched. This video is exceptional in its level of giving you insight to DMCA, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and other copyright oriented legislation in the US and abroad.

Freedom of information versus protection of content has become a huge conflict. It is an open war between the people and corporate entities. Has society advanced so far as to govern the people within it that government can assume the people have no ethical or morale responsibility?

"We have the best government that money can buy" - Mark Twain
graphic by @lopker

Governance over freedom is being financed and the laws are becoming stricter all the time. These are the days when the people are rising up in protest. We are not intentional thieves. The cost of doing business has escalated far too high.

Technology has enabled wide-spread distribution of content with minimal knowledge or acknowledgement of who produced it. If we knew the people, not the corporations producing – the PEOPLE, we might find the public honoring the work of content producers more fairly.

Corporations place workers within their “body” and say we enable this content for your consumption – pay us. When we do we hope the producers in the corporation are paid for producing what we are consuming. The layers of bureaucracy, and licensing fees, and legislative lobbying by corporations to maintain ownership of content reduces what the people producing work receive in wages. You may find your actions at work don’t provide a livable environment. They fail to honor your life on the street and enslave your friends and family. Honorable work in society today is grossly underpaid and we lose identity to the corporate entities we work for. Some will sit behind the shield of government and corporate work to protect themselves.

Corporate financed legislation and courts are deadly to the people being governed. It removes small and medium size business from competing due to police-state mentality. Start up businesses have to dodge through a maze of restricting concerns that often compromise the premise they were formed to serve.

The fight is on and the people need to adopt the police-state mentality with our law-makers that they will enact laws that provide for the freedom of the people. Courts need to see the people often have insufficient funding to be properly heard. Legislators, judges, and government-related agency workers need to know they are not above the law of the people – immunity to due process of law is a bad thing to see. It enforces police-state behavior enabling the elite to control the public.

The common person on the street is viewed as a criminal, guilty until proven innocent. When you “wear your number” responsibly they quiet the sound of sirens intent on muting your voice. This is bondage of the public and commitment into slavery. Immoral justice thrust upon the innocent for marginal activities.

Do as you are told and everything will be OK… for whom?

Video: Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea) (by TEDtalksDirector)

Four Draft District Maps For Detroit

These maps segment the City of Detroit into seven districts. Monday and Tuesday the maps will be revealed to the City Council and the public.

Want to See and Sound Off? 

Public comment period during City Council meetings Monday & Tuesday, or a public hearing Tuesday 7pm at Liberty Temple Baptist Church, 17188 Greenfield, Detroit (at McNichols). An additional public hearing is being scheduled for next week and more may follow.

Preliminary Look

None of the maps has a downtown district, which if created enable a power-play of corporate strength versus the people. Each redistricting map does have a southwest district, which is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood and could lead to the first Hispanic Mayor in time. As a copy of these maps becomes available this post will be updated to provide the information.

The draft maps were developed by the city Planning Commission, lead by Council President Charles Pugh.

Source:  Detroiters will be able to weigh in on 4 maps to redraw city council districts
(via Rochelle Riley | Detroit Free Press |

TODAY Thou Shalt Not Kill Motorcade and Rally

Pastor Ovella Andreas of United Communities for America invites everyone to attend a metro Detroit area day of peace and healing, and take a stand against violence in our community. This initiative to be held the 22nd day of each month is currently officially adopted in Detroit, Romulus, and Inkster Michigan.

First City Wide Thou Shall Not Kill Motorcade

January 22, 2012
Fellowship Chapel
7707 West Outer Drive
Detroit, MI  48235
4:00 Motorcade departing from Woodward & Adams (Grand Circus Park / Central United Methodist)
5:30 Rally at Fellowship Chapel

Contact: | The UCOA website | Facebook page
Tune in to 1440 am weekdays @ noon for “Detroit prayer on the air”

Would you like to plan a rally in your community?

We are in the process of distributing 50,000 Thou Shall Not Kill posters in the community. Let us unite and begin to make our city safe! We need everyone!