The protest march Saturday at 4PM went better than expected (much to the disappointment of some) because of intelligent and restrained response by the Warren Police Department. However, I spoke with a number of Warren residents in the residential area that they marched in and they were not happy with what they considered an unjustified invasion by outsiders. Once residents understood what was at stake with this group then they understood why our police officers had to be both restrained and watchful.
This group has a reputation of being very militant and encouraging violence and conflict with police and others. Detroit has dealt with this group for months and there has been a good deal of violence and destruction of property including police vehicles. We have avoided such violence by being patient and respectful. I defend the right of anyone to peacefully protest at public places but NOT in quiet peaceful residential neighborhoods.
A quiet neighborhood is not a place to protest or create fear and anger. I also feel that counter protest groups would be wise to stay home and not inflame the situation. All lives matter in our neighborhoods regardless of race, creed, or color. If you wish to change the minds of people, you do it with acts of kindness not acts of violence. Threats and intimidation do not change anyone for the best only for the worst. This protest group might not view it this way but they are becoming the Committee To Elect President Trump. Based upon my discussions with Warren residents they are less sympathetic to the goals of this group than before. This activity serves to divide us not unite us. It took strength and courage not to react to an obvious attempt to incite violence in Warren. It didn’t work because of the positive leadership of Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and the outstanding performance and patience of Warren Police officers. Profiles in Courage to do the right thing despite the desire to respond aggressively. Great job Warren Police!
Note: Both Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer and myself were willing to meet with the leadership of the protestors but they were not interested in meeting with either of us. Communication with differing points of view can lead to a better understanding.
*We did not authorize the protest in the neighborhoods nor were we forewarned of this. This is an example of a need for better communication.
Choice is power! Life can be cruel but it can also be filled with wonder. Both are true. What are all of us going to focus on….the terrible or the wonderful? The goodness or cruelty? Our lives will be decided about what we choose to do. I choose communication over conflict. How about you?
Cell (586) 481-0545, Home (586) 573-8058, Office (586) 574-4520.
Mayor James R. Fouts
City of Warren
One City Square- Suite 215
Warren, MI 48093-6726