Note from Nadir: This is a personal statement in response to WDIV’s misguided report on the US Social Forum. It is not an official USSF statement.
My name is J. Nadir Omowale, and I am a member of Detroit’s Entertainment Commission. I am a musician, Detroit advocate, and a volunteer for the US Social Forum.
I LIVE HERE!!! I’M A CITY OFFICIAL!!! I AM NOT PROTESTING DETROIT!! I LOVE DETROIT!!!
I am appalled at WDIV’s incorrect, misguided and dangerous portrayal of the United States Social Forum and its attendees as “protesters”.
The US Social Forum is a gathering of community organizers, and social justice activists. We are meeting in Detroit to teach and learn from each other.
Yes, Detroit was chosen partially because of the many challenges that the city faces, but it was also chosen for the great progress we have made as we work to improve the economic and social climate here.
The opening march down Woodward Avenue is not a protest. It will include giant puppets, and marching bands!
WDIV said nothing of the concerts, art exhibits, and the film festival which are all FREE TO THE PUBLIC!! The report mentioned nothing of the over 1400 workshops, the full hotels throughout downtown, and the tremendous economic benefits that thousands of visitors will bring to the city.
We will showcase Detroit’s tremendous artistic and cultural talent. We will show the world how we are transforming the landscape with urban gardening. We will celebrate the city’s beautiful riverfront.
It will even include the US premiere of the latest Oliver Stone film!!!
Already USSF organizers from other cities have packed their bags and begun to MOVE here after spending time in our beautiful city – not temporarily, but PERMANENTLY – because they have fallen in love with the spirit of the people, and they see the promise and potential within the city.
HOW CAN THIS BE BAD FOR DETROIT???
WDIV got it all wrong, and they are doing a disservice to the citizens they serve by characterizing a positive gathering of community organizers as a protest.
J. Nadir Omowale
Detroit Entertainment Commission