May 17, 2004
Saturday, May 8, about 150 people demonstrated against the war in Southwest Detroit. Organized by Women in Black, a pacifist women's organization, the demonstration attracted other people, including some from the neighborhood.
The march, a silent one, went up and down Vernor, the main street of this predominately Latino neighborhood. People on the street were taking the leaflets, talking about it amongst themselves, calling up friends (on their cell phones) to talk about it. Most were supportive. Only two men wanted to argue for the war. The family of Artemis Brassfield, a soldier from Flint killed in Iraq, sent a statement against the war that was read. They had planned to be there but Artemis' grandmother died and the funeral conflicted. The family said they would be at the June protest.
Tyree Guyton, an artist known for his Heidelberg Project installed in the streets of Detroit, gave a moving speech at the end. He denounced the government for killing children over there and waging an economic war here at home.
"It's time we start bringing our own children home," he said. "Our war is not in Iraq, it's here, against racism, unemployment and poverty."
It was only a small, very local demonstration. But demonstrations like these are going on around the country, organized by different people – even if the big media pays them little attention. They give expression to what the population thinks about this war.