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There is a war on BIPOC people in Kalamazoo: An Interview with Monica Washington Padula

October 28, 2021

In early October, the City of Kalamazoo sent members of the Kalamazoo Police Department to a houseless encampment to evict those who were staying at the encampment. You can read some context of what took place on October 8th, from this article on the site NowKalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo Police also arrested Monica Washington Padula, an Afro-Indigenous activist who was present on October 8 in a supportive capacity for the unhoused community. Recently, we had the opportunity to hear Monica’s story about what happened that day, which not only provides even more context, but Monica’s narrative gives us a first hand accounting of how the City of Kalamazoo is waging a war against BIPOC people in that community.

We have seen this same dynamic happen in Grand Rapids, with the ongoing harassment, intimidation and arrests of groups like Justice for Black Lives, Defund the GRPD and Movimiento Cosecha GR. In addition, the City of Grand Rapids evicted a housing encampment at Heartside Park last year and has continued to harass other unhoused encampments around the city.

Our interview with Monica is roughly 36 minutes and we encourage people to watch the video, then share it.

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