In Detroit, two street artists are heading to court to fight felony charges for allegedly painting the words “Free the Water” and a large black fist on the Highland Park water tower in 2014. Artists William Lucka and Antonio Cosme are facing hefty fines and prison time on charges of malicious destruction of property and more. Detroit has faced its own water crisis in recent years, as the city has cut off running water from tens of thousands of homes. The United Nations has condemned Detroit’s ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law. For more on this go to HERE.
Help support Lucka and Antonio’s court battle. Donate now! Their Defense Committee is dedicated to ensuring that neither spend time behind bars, and that means a costly legal struggle. But the cost of not resisting is so much higher — for so many in Flint, Detroit, and beyond.
In Flint, residents have been living without clean, safe water for nearly three years, barely surviving on bottled water for all their needs. Detroit, too, is grappling with its own water crisis; the United Nations has condemned the city’s ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law even as tens of thousands go without running water to their homes.
The city is also cracking down on resistance in its drive toward a “New Detroit”: an anti-black, anti-poor vision of a “revitalization,” or what’s been called a “tale of two cities.” As part of that, the city has instituted an Anti-Graffiti Task Force, made up of police, to target certain types of public expression, done by certain people. Famed street artist Shepard Fairey, paid by billionaire Dan Gilbert to paint an enormous mural on a downtown building, recently had his own Detroit graffiti charges dismissed, as did two young white women from Grosse Pointe who spray-painted walls in Detroit. In contrast, the city seems intent on forging ahead with the “Free the Water” case against two young men of color who are deeply engaged in their communities and political organizing.
Let Lucka and Antonio know that they are not alone. Contribute generously to our fund-raiser and encourage others to do so.
Please visit our Web site for updates, to sign up for announcements, and of course to donate:www.FreeTheWater313.org
You can also “like” and visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/freethewater313/.
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Antonio is a farmer, artist, and activist who has been organizing against water shutoffs since 2012. Cofounder of the Raiz Up — an Xicano, Latino, and indigenous hip-hop and arts collective rooted in Southwest Detroit — Antonio is involved with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management and the People’s Water Board.
Lucka is an muralist and highly skilled artist from Southwest Detroit. He volunteers to teach guitar with Grace in Action and is a member of the Raiz Up. Lucka’s art has spoken loudly against gentrification’s takeover and for original peoples, and he has been an integral member of many public art projects throughout the community.
For an excellent article from Hyperallergic go to HERE.
Please spread the word.