Thursday, October 27, 2011

Detroit Protesters Shut Down Ambassador Bridge

100 people shut down an international border and trade for nearly an hour, and the Windsor Star is the only one who has covered it so far.

The border. You know, the one with Canada.

How very odd that what must be a federal offense hasn't drawn any attention from our media.

Angry Detroit protesters defied police and stalled international trade Thursday by forming a human blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, snarling truck traffic all the way back to Windsor.

About 100 protesters, made up of Bridge Watch Detroit supporters and an Occupy Detroit contingent, locked hands, chanted slogans and blocked big rigs from exiting the bridge for nearly an hour.

As they waved signs and argued with police — protesting the actions and influence of billionaire bridge owner Matty Moroun — a long line of motionless tractor trailers stretched back across to Huron Church Road.

“Today we made sure our Windsor sisters and brothers knew we were doing this,” said Democratic State Representative Rashida Tlaib. “They’re tired as much as we are. They’re tired of the trucks rumbling through their community. They’re tired of the asthma rate increases. I mean we’re tired. We need respect. We may not be billionaires, but we have rights. We have power. The 99 per cent — we may not have money, but the power of the people matters.”

The cops held back. Very nice of them.

No one was arrested but if protesters didn’t disperse when they did, police were ready to move in. As the group chanted and cheered, officers stood in the background sorting plastic handcuffs.

“We were fully prepared to take action,” said Tolbert. “If it would have gone any further we would have had to take the appropriate action. But since they said they were going to leave, rather than give people felony arrests we decided to wait it out.”

The group promises to be back, and will stay longer next time, until Moroun "does the right thing".

Sure hope they have good lawyers.

Update 4am: The DNews files a story after 1am. The AP picks it up on the DNews story.

Why do I find it remarkable that coverage was so scant? The border, for one. But the confluence of both the bridge story, that has been on-going in Michigan for years and in the news in a big way recently, meeting up with the Occupy movement, should have made for very topical content.