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Photos from Ambassador Bridge action, Oct. 27th, 2011

October 29, 2011

Occupy Detroit, community members and organized labor joined forces last Thursday to block freight traffic on the Ambassador Bridge, the largest point of trade between the U.S. and Canada.  Almost a quarter of all U.S.-Canadian trade crosses the Ambassador Bridge.  The action was in protest of stalled plans to construct a new ramp to the Ambassador Bridge that would direct truck traffic, and the subsequent noise and air pollution, away from the neighboring community who’s been fighting growing freight traffic for years.  The action successfully blockaded truck traffic for a little under an hour — stalling potentially millions of dollars in international trade, and drawing tons of attention from local media [WXYZ, MLive].

Particularly notable was the willingness of up to potentially 150 people to risk arrest in blocking the bridge.  Even though two separate “routes” were proposed for those to march along — a low-risk route, and a higher-risk civil disobedience route — eventually almost everyone participating joined in in blocking the traffic.  Negotiations were made with the police to not make any arrests after they were told that the protest was planned to end promptly at 6PM.  Arresting all 150 participants, the day after the Oakland Police beatdown on Occupy, would likely be more trouble than it was worth.

A puppet was made of Mattie Moroun, the infamously greedy owner of the Ambassador Bridge. A robber baron if there ever was one, he could make Montgomery Burns or Ebeneezer Scrooge blush.

This man immediately made his stand directly in front of the truck traffic, bringing his dog along on the leash. A member of the National Lawyers Guild volunteered to hold on to his dog in the case that he was arrested.

Detroit Police, possibly off-duty and paid by the bridge company to act as security, waved semi-trucks to move foward into the crowd in hopes of dispersing the protest.

As the protest ended, dozens truckers honked and waved in support of the protest.