Protest outside DTE Energy in Detroit. Upwards of
27,000 cuttoffs have taken place in
See the video of the demonstration at YouTube.com/
KennySnod and youtube.
Activist and author of “From Victimization to Empowerment”
Marian Kramer is a member of
the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and a long-time fighter for
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
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 http://www.mwro.org
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
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
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.....
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.
Saving Souls Ministries