Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · White Power Picnic Protest
. . . .

White Power Picnic Protest

Robert Downes - July 22nd, 2004
About a dozen members of the white power National Socialist Movement found their picnic disrupted in Cadillac on Sunday, July 11 by members of Direct Action, an anti-racism group from the Lansing area.
Cadillac has had a reputation for the past few years as a center for skinhead and neo-Nazi types interested in maintaining the area as a white “homeland.” A skinhead group of teens and young adults was identified in the city in 1998. In 2000, two teenagers were charged with shooting at a group of skinheads who were reportedly attacking a home in the area. The white power movement is notorious enough to prompt Direct Action to maintain a “Cadillac Nazi Watch” on its website.
Direct Action is apparently a group of student anarchists. Their website, www.direct-action.net, states the following: “Direct Action was initiated to create a voice for people who felt that the U.S. reaction to the 9/11 attacks would create a base for more terrorism and violence. We began by opposing the USA Patriot Act and the U.S. war in Afghanistan. But instead of simply complaining about the state of the world we also want to put forward an alternative vision for a world worth living in.”
The group doesn’t mince words: “Don’t let them have this opportunity to organize and spread their racist, xenophobic and homophobic agenda!” their message against the picnic stated, repeated on activist websites around the state. “Show them that white supremacy and fascism are unacceptable in Michigan communities!”
On July 11, approximately 20 members of the group carpooled from MSU to Kenwood Park in Cadillac. They distributed about 200 fliers on the National Socialist Movement and heckled a small group of white power picnickers across the way.
Following is a summary of the day, written by an anonymous Direct Action member:

“Michigan anti-racists gathered together and headed out for Cadillac. We had a much smaller crew than hoped, but spirits were still high. We had banners, fliers and anti-nazi flags on sticks. We arrived and within 10 minutes had three cop cruisers and two police vans on us.
The police informed us that they wanted no problems and even though we had no permit to protest would let us do so anyway. We then marched over to the picnic area that the NSM were meeting at and stood across from them. We stood about 300 feet from them, kinda’ far away but close enough to throw a wrench into their attempt to picnic unhindered.
The nazis had about a dozen or so members. The police waited around. After a chant and a little yelling from our forces the police chief came over and told us there would be no tolerance for loud noise, chants or use of profanity. He warned us that if we did not comply then we would be dispersed.
We divided up. Some went off to flier the area and part of the town. After an hour we all left. While the day was largely uneventful we did feel our presence disrupted the NSM event and let them know we‘re organizing against them. Many people seemed supportive though some people flipped us off too.”

Direct Action seems to be as controversial as the marginalized white supremacists in its own way.
A message on the leftist www.REDtv.org website claims that “Direct Action and its antecedents have always been hostile to the Bill of Rights,” while another writer protests that the group treads on the free speech rights of fellow Americans: “You know there’s this thing called freedom of speech and the right to peacefully gather. Protesting their rights as citizens of America is only validating their right to gather and speak. In fact, a protest would just cause a scene and get news coverage and probably get others to join their cause. This is exactly what they want: Publicity.”

 
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