Over 200 pro-LGBTQ+ individuals gathered outdoors of Hamtramck Metropolis Corridor at Winfield Park Saturday to precise dissent in the direction of Hamtramck Metropolis Council’s current resolution to take away the LGBTQ+ flag from flying on metropolis property.
Michigan Legal professional Basic Dana Nessel was amongst these in attendance, and opened up on the microphone, lambasting Mayor Amer Ghalib.
“I’m not a stranger to you, I’m not an agitator, I’m your legal professional normal, and sure, I’m additionally homosexual,” Nessel stated. “ … I come right here in the present day to implore the federal government of the town of Hamtramck to repeal its decision to ban the Satisfaction flag. And to as a substitute pledge to like, help and acknowledge the dignity and the worth of all those that stay, go to and do enterprise with Hamtramck.”
Ghalib stated this week that the town wouldn’t budge within the face of protesters after the all-Muslim Metropolis Council this month voted to ban the Satisfaction flag from flying on metropolis properties.
“Within the coming days, you’ll discover strangers demonstrating in your metropolis and disturbing the general public peace by upsetting you with their actions and behaviors,” Ghalib wrote on Fb, claiming “they’re making an attempt to create chaos, division and disrupt safety within the metropolis.”
Nessel famous that Ghalib has stated that “banning the pleasure flag is supposed to maintain the town ‘impartial’ and ‘neutral’ in the direction of its residents.
“Respectfully, I disagree,” she stated. “Banning the pleasure flag is supposed to ship the very reverse message: a message of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. … Because it’s stated, ‘In conditions of injustice, neutrality all the time favors the oppressor, by no means the oppressed.’ And as Martin Luther King Jr. so aptly noticed: ‘The most well liked place in hell is reserved for individuals who stay impartial in occasions of nice ethical battle. Anybody who accepts evil, with out protesting in opposition to it, is one who cooperates with it.’
“And make no mistake: homophobia, transphobia, are certainly types of evil simply as a lot as Islamophobia is,” Nessel continued.
Nessel ended with an enchantment to Hamtramck officers.
“So I ask the city of Hamtramck to use its voice to speak up for all its people,” she said. “Take down the wall you have now built that has made this proud city into a national embarrassment, and raise the flag of equality.”
The crowd of mostly pro-LGBTQ+ people cheered, as more and more speakers began to filter through. Between speakers, some local musicians performed, and other organizations took the mic to show their support. Adults and children chalked the park with various pro-LGBTQ+ drawings and slogans.
On the other side of Winfield Park, more than a dozen Hamtramck police officers stood in front of Hamtramck City Hall alongside Michigan State Police troopers.
After Planet Ant Theatre Director Darren Shelton’s speech, he sat down and spoke Metro Times. He noted that he had recently noticed an uptick in Hamtramck of hateful behavior, including multiple attempts to tear down the Pride flag that sits atop the Planet Ant marquee. Shelton said he had to bolt the Pride flag more securely to the marquee.
Some patrons of Planet Ant also have reported anti-LGBTQ+ slurs being directed at them while standing outside while talking to friends or smoking a cigarette, he said.
“It’s been very disheartening to hear all of the terrible things being yelled from car windows passing by,” Shelton said. “… People will say, ‘It’s just a flag; it’s just a flag,’ but it’s about representation. … The big, scary thing is the number of bad players who really feel like it is their job to step up in a militant way to fight back [against LGBTQ+people] with hatred and violence.”
Shelton said he’s happy that the mood of the rally has been one of love and peace.
“This rally is such a loving thing. You can’t come here and say that this is a hateful group that’s gonna corrupt the children or anything; it’s not,” Shelton said. “This is a gathering of scores of people who just want love and fair representation in a city that prides itself on diversity and ideals.”
As the event started to wind down, Gracie Cadieux, one of the organizers, grabbed the microphone and noted to the crowd that there’s plenty of art supplies and chalk lying around.
“We’re gonna ask you guys to make this place f–king beautiful,” Cadieux said. “There [is] chalk spread throughout this park. Please, leave it gay as f–k.”
This story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times. Follow them: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter