See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Tents and tense times 

News Hits spent a little time with the residents of the roughly 20-tent city that's popped up in Detroit's Grand Circus Park to protest the economic summit at the RenCen, where bankrupt General Motors has its world headquarters.

After morning speeches and discussions, more than 100 people marched down Woodward to where the titans of industry and finance had gathered to figure a way out of this mess that they, and those like them, are largely responible for getting us into.

Housing foreclosures. Job losses. Cuts in benefits. A pair of wars. These were all issues signs carried by the protesters drew attention to.

As fired-up speakers stood on the sidewalk outside the RenCen and shouted through a bullhorn at bigwigs who couldn't hear them, with a line of cops making sure the executives weren't interrupted, we thought how the scene symbolized the way insiders gather to make policy while the masses remain on the outside, left only to bear the consequences.

Among those on the outside was Gwen Gaines, 57, who works part time providing care to a woman suffering from lung cancer. She also puts in time with the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization where, she says, "The phones ring all day long."

Another camper was Larry Holmes, 56, a community organizer from New York City. He talked about Detroit and how people around the country should start paying attention.

"In a lot of cities, things are bad, but not as bad as Detroit," he observes. "But they could be."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit