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Protest outside DTE Energy in Detroit. Upwards of
27,000 cuttoffs have taken place in Detroit alone.
See the video of the demonstration at
KennySnod and youtube. com/watch?v=20hlyk1NLG0
PHOTO/Kenny Snodgrass
Activist and author of “From Victimization to Empowerment”

By Sandy Reid/People’s Tribune

Marian Kramer is a member of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and a long-time fighter for America’s poor.

People’s Tribune:  Marian, are the Detroit protests over utility cutoffs still going on?
Marian Kramer: The protests are continuing in Detroit over the 27,000 or so utility cut offs. They don’t want us out here protesting. They sent a security guard out to see if there was anything he could do to end the situation. He said, “What about calling Mr. Dave Johnson (head of the Low Income Department) or others.” We said they are nice guys but they don’t have the power to do anything. We also told the security person that he needs to be securing us and not DTE — they’re the ones out killing people.  
PT:  What are your demands?
MK: We want the head of DTE Energy, the CEO, to step down from his job. Our demands are no more shut offs and that everyone that has had them shut off gets them turned back on. There will be civil lawsuits filed for the families that have died as a result of  DTE’s hands. This should all be made public. DTE should be a public entity, owned and run by the government. They shouldn’t be making money off our misery. The Michigan Public Service Commission, appointed by the Governor, doesn’t represent our interests. It represents utility companies. All positions should be elected. They just end up being friends for the utility company.
PT: Where are things with the water struggle and the 45,000 homes in Detroit without water?
MK: We’re starting a new campaign around water. They have increased the water rates. The People’s Water Commissioners are leading the fight for water. The Detroit Water Board meets once a month, and the People’s Water Commission decided that each month we would picket their meetings and expose them more and more to the community and what they’re doing.We want to get more and more people out there. We want all of the entities of the water department they have privatized,  made public and we want the Water Affordability Plan implemented from its original copy and no water rate increases.”

Contact the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization at

By Lenette Evans

On December 11, almost 2 months ago, my step-son Bill H. Gardner IV, was in a tragic accident with his friends. They were traveling on Red Arrow Highway near Sawyer, Michigan.  Bill was engulfed in flames, broke his back and had a 5-inch metal rod put in his back at Lakeland Medical Center, in St. Joseph, Michigan.
He was in ICU for a week and a regular room for another week. During this time he went through horrible withdrawals from being a heroin user. All the doctors did was give him Morphine, Methedone, Vicodin and other narcotics. He could not sit, stand, or walk. He was given no physical rehabilitation and he was put out on the street with no place to go.
He stayed at a local hotel but returned back to the hospital because he fell trying to use his walker. An ambulance came to get him. He stayed two nights in the emergency room lobby where nobody offered him food or water.
The hospital could have put him in a room until the social worker who we were working with arranged for him to go to the “Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.” You would think if you have a 24-year old in your lobby you would put him in a room and help rehabilitate him. You do not shove a crippled man out on the street and let him stay in your lobby with no help and no water or food for two days.
The hospital security guard drove him to the bus station so he could go to the “Kalamazoo Gospel Mission”, until he could get into the drug rehabilitation program at Salvation Army-Turning Point in Grand Rapids.
Unfortunately, it was a struggle there because of his physical condition. He could not climb stairs for the classes because he was in such excruciating pain.  A Doctor at Borgess Medical Center gave him narcotics for pain. He also met a man there who persuaded him to go to his home as they shot up Heroin. He later went to Exodus House, where he ended up overdosing and died from the heroin and other narcotics he was taking.
Nobody’s child has to go down this road. Nobody has to die from heroin or street drugs or prescription drugs which is becoming more and more of a trend these days. Parents do not give up on your children..... love them!
Our government needs to provide more adequate rehab facilities that are six months to a year programs in our communities and educate our hospital medical staff on how to treat drug abusers and provide proper medical care for those who do not have it. But instead they become abusive to the patients.
I have become an advocate, speaking on behalf of my step son Bill to help educate and make a difference in the lives of teens, adults and seniors who are on heroin and prescription pain killers-narcotics. Together we can make a difference and save lives! For more information on public speaking at your facility please contact me.

Lenette Evans
Saving Souls Ministries


This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551,
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