Detroit emergency manager protesters seek federal intervention

Opponents of Detroit emergency manager seek intervention from federal government


DETROIT – Some may think it is too little too late.

However, about 75 protesters rallied Friday outside the Detroit Athletic Club, where Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was speaking about the city's financial future.

Security was heavy. The protest was peaceful. But on Thursday some of the emergency manager opponents formed a slow-moving caravan which snarled traffic on southbound Interstate 75.

"Everything we do will be safe, will be peaceful and will not harm anyone else," said Rev. Charles Williams II, of the National Action Network.

The governor spoke to the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law on Friday. Immigration was the topic. Later in the day, Snyder said protests are part of democracy, but he didn't support the freeway tactic.

"There are consequences to that. Again, they're putting themselves in danger and they're putting other people in danger. I'll leave that to law enforcement to appropriately make sure the rules are being followed," Snyder said.

The emergency financial manager opponents also are trying a more conventional tactic. They met with U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. They want federal intervention.

"If the governor doesn't see how this legislation is anti-democratic and how it's a challenge to our voting right, hopefully we can get that from the federal government," said Williams.

There is no indication the Justice Department will step in. However, Snyder doesn't appear to be concerned.

"This law goes back to 1990. There's 20 years of legal history on this particular act so I think it's going to hold up and do well," the governor said.