CP and housing activists in Detroit: “All evictions got to stop!”

BY: Detroit Club, CPUSA| April 4, 2023
CP and housing activists in Detroit: “All evictions got to stop!”


The fight against predatory landlords has reached a new stage of struggle in the city of Detroit.

On March 21, after months of grassroots struggle for the protection of Taura Brown and her home, Wayne County Judge Shawn Jacque of the 36th District Court signed a court order for her eviction. She had ten days to remove her belongings, including her dialysis equipment, but Taura and housing activists in Detroit were prepared to defend her home against an unjust and inhumane eviction at all costs.

On April 4, the courts began the violent eviction of Ms. Brown. Spearheaded by Detroit Eviction Defense, housing activists, including members of the Detroit Club of the Communist Party USA, stationed themselves outside of Ms. Brown’s house, ready to defend her and her home. What ensued afterwards was a disturbing display of violence, intimidation, and brutality by Wayne County bailiffs to evict Ms. Brown. Activists were punched, thrown to the ground, kicked, spit at, and even threatened with a knife by the bailiffs and their “movers.” The Detroit police officers who were present on the scene did little, if anything, to control the illegal and violent actions of the court officers and their contractors. The complicity of law enforcement on site comes as no surprise, as the police primarily exist to defend private property at the will of slumlords and at the expense of working-class and poor people.

“No slumlords, no cops, all evictions have got to stop,” were the chants of the activists as they locked shoulder to shoulder and arm to arm in the face of the aggressive eviction team. Despite the violence and intimidation, today’s events adequately exposed the courts, police, and landlords as upholders of capitalism and white supremacy. The Detroit Club of the Communist Party USA commends the bravery, determination, and revolutionary spirit of Ms. Brown, the home defenders, and our party members who risked arrest and harm in order to defend Ms. Brown and ultimately the interests of all working class and oppressed people.

Ms. Brown is a terminally ill Black woman on dialysis, with stage 5 kidney failure. She has been fighting against her wrongful eviction and struggling against the so-called “community non-profit,” Cass Community Social Services, headed by Rev. Faith Fowler, for two years. Ms. Brown is now being evicted from her home — despite paying her rent on time — for speaking out against alleged fraud and micromanaging of residents in her community. The fight to defend Ms. Brown’s home will only intensify moving forward as the courts, the police, and the so-called “community philanthropist” known as Faith Fowler regroup and prepare to retaliate.

The violent eviction of Ms. Brown comes a week after the Detroit City Council granted billionaires millions of dollars in tax incentives for the development of a gentrifying, profit-oriented project called the “District Detroit,” which will include brand new hotels and amenities for those who can afford them, laying the bases for a general rise in rents, prices, and displacement. The inclination Detroit’s city government has to accommodate billionaires and higher income out-of-towners is ironic when city residents like Taura are being forced out of their homes at the will of Wayne County judges and fraudulent landlords. It is an offense to all residents of Detroit to know the City does not have our backs — not unless we’re white and rich, which is a racist and classist policy.

We call for an immediate stoppage to the wrongful and violent eviction of Ms. Brown and demand compensation for all damages as a result of this act of brutality — paid for in full by Rev. Faith Fowler and Cass Community Social Services.

We call for an investigation into the criminal actions of the bailiffs, their movers, and for them to be charged to the fullest extent of the law. The Detroit Police Department should also be investigated for the inaction of their officers when confronted with violence and brutality against non-violent activists by the bailiffs and movers.

As members of the Communist Party USA, we stand firmly against the violence that has taken place today against Ms. Brown, community activists, our members, and our broader working class and people. We affirm the need for unity of the working class in struggle against the capitalist system which perpetuates exploitation, racism, sexism, and violence.

Please make a contribution to the Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund here.

Image: Bailiffs and movers forcibly remove protesters who were protecting Taura Brown from being evicted in Detroit, photo courtesy of Steve Neavling / Detroit Metro Times.


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