Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Scones Not Drones
John Main, The Present Christ: Further Steps In Meditation (1987)
This week, Tom's parents made a pilgrimage out to Beloved Detroit. It was refreshing to be with them as they joined in with our water deliveries and nightly events. Sue & Dennis braved the 40-degree chill to connect with the urban art of Tyree Guyton at the Heidelberg Project. Guyton has suffered through five mysterious arsons in the last year. Unfortunately, there aren't any leads on who is attempting to destroy his homes painted with polka dots, clocks and birthday cakes.
We crossed the bridge over to Belle Isle, an island in the middle of the Detroit River. The wooded path, clothed with leaves, retained a morsel of Fall color. Dennis stood under the willow tree, meditating on Canada (below).
On Friday night, we attended an art showcase and panel discussion on the water struggle in Detroit, with an open mic for music and spoken word poetry. Don't worry: we didn't perform.
On Saturday morning, we drove a couple hours to Battle Creek, the home of Frosted Flakes & Fruit Loops. There is also a military base on the edge of town getting retrofitted to fly armed drones halfway across the world. We joined the Peace House of Kalamazoo and Voices For Peace, along with about a dozen Detroiters. On the coldest morning yet, we came out to witness against the use of this technology that has killed hundreds of civilians overseas. The photo at the top of the post is with our good friend Sarah Thompson, the director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, who emceed the event. Sarah energetically led us in chants of "Scones not drones" and connected the atrocity of drone strikes with other imperial injustices like racism & income inequality.
On Monday, a group of pastors and community organizers in the city hosted a press conference to respond to the end of the bankruptcy hearings. The Detroit Free Press included a 12-page section with the headline "Detroit Reborn." At the presser, these leaders announced their disappointment and dismay over the lack of accountability from media and the deep pain and suffering for the overwhelming majority of longtime residents of the city. The 7.2 square miles of downtown and midtown are undergoing a "revival" that has done even more harm (pensions cut, schools closing, water shut-offs) for the 45% of Detroiters living below the poverty line.
Our pastor Bill Wylie-Kellermann (below) echoed the sentiments of 16th century prophet Bartolome de las Casas who wrote, "God is the one who always remembers those whom history has forgotten." BWK spoke confidently of a God who will judge how "judges and governors, managers and their mayors, banks and foundations, corporate media serve humanity." Antonio Cosme (below) lamented "solutions oriented towards financial systems" that not only do nothing to help the people of Detroit, but will inevitably cause more destruction in other cities all over North America.