Last Thursday, the Kent County Board of Commissioners asked residents who had come for public comment to sit in a room next door and watch the meeting on closed circuit TV. 

Commissioner Jim Talen spoke up on his disapproval during the meeting and sat on the side of the audience during the rest of the meeting.  


“I am deeply, deeply disturbed by the process that you chose to put into place this morning to control public access to our public meeting.” 


Residents demand an end to Kent County's contract with ICE

Jun 29, 2018
Organizers from Movimiento Cosecha Gr give public comment at the Kent County Commission meeting
Michelle Jokisch Polo / WGVU

Early morning on June 28th about 100 people gathered at the Kent County Commission Meeting Downtown Grand Rapids give speak up against the contract between ICE and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. 

Sergio Cira Reyes is a resident of Kent County and a formerly undocumented immigrant, who organized the protest in hopes of holding the government bodies accountable. 

Commissioner Jim Saalfeld of District 11 and Board Chair, shut down the meeting turning off the microphone and livestream.

About two dozen demonstrators were arrested for blocking a light rail line in downtown Detroit to protest the treatment of poor people including water service shutoffs.

Monday's protests by the Michigan chapter of the "Poor People's Campaign" temporarily halted light rail service and blocked the entrance to an office building. The Michigan chapter has been holding rallies weekly leading up to a national demonstration in Washington, D.C., this week.

The Rev. Ed Rowe, pastor emeritus of Central United Methodist in Detroit, said: "We're seeing a crucifixion of the poor."

Early versions of Michigan's first school safety reforms since the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting are steering toward campus security and away from gun laws. The Senate last week unanimously approved an extra $18.6 million for school safety initiatives this fiscal year. 

Daniel Boothe

As demolition begins on the BC Cobb Power Plant in Muskegon, Union laborers are protesting  North-Carolina based company Forsite Development outsourcing the demolition and reconstruction of the plant to out of state workers.

“With Muskegon as we know, there is a lot of skilled labor of men and women here, that could perform this work,” Bill Kenney, the President of the Michigan Building Trades and Construction West Michigan chapter said. “So it’s important to us that with the medium income in Muskegon County being only $27,000, there are people that need work.”

An energy industry group says a video game created by a Michigan State University assistant professor encourages "eco-terrorism" by enabling players to zap imaginary oil pipelines with lightning bolts, although the developer says it doesn't advocate violence. The game is called "Thunderbird Strike."

Hundreds of students walked out of classes and blocked streets at University of Michigan as part of a planned weeklong protest against racism. The demonstrations at the Ann Arbor school began Monday morning and included people blocking roads and sitting on medians studying. Some buses had to be rerouted and students sought other stops. Traffic resumed within about an hour.

Traverse City vigil calls for united stand against racism

Aug 14, 2017

Residents of a predominantly white community in northern Michigan are speaking out against racism in response to a white supremacist rally that spiraled into deadly violence in Virginia. Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil Sunday night in Traverse City, some carrying U.S. flags and placards with slogans such as "Hatred is not a family value." 

Daniel Boothe

In the aftermath of the chaotic and deadly white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, hundreds of people packed Rosa Park Circle in downtown Grand Rapids Sunday evening to stand in solidarity with “their fallen comrade” and protest white nationalism. On Saturday, 32-year-old Heather Heyer lost her life protesting a white supremacist march in Charlottesville when a car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Field Junior intentionally ploughed into the group of protestors.

Daniel Boothe

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was back in town for a tour of Grand Rapids Community College, as simultaneously demonstrators outside protested her education policy. The Secretary is on a nationwide tour of colleges that provide students alternative ways to enter the workforce other than earning a four year degree.   

“There are so many pathways to a higher education, and Grand Rapids Community College really embodies the best of these opportunities for students,” DeVos said.