What's next for Occupy Detroit? Some members push voter registration

Nov 30, 2011

While the Occupy Detroit movement has vacated Grand Circus Park for the winter, they are not slowing down in getting their message out, and as the Huffington Post Detroit reports, they are trying out new avenues to make an impact.

The Huffpost's Kate Abbey-Lambertz writes:

Shannon McEvilly, an activist with Occupy Detroit who works with the media and women's working groups, has taken on the task of voter registration and education as a new element of Occupy Detroit's efforts in the city.

On Saturday she and others interested in the cause will kick off voter registration efforts downtown, counting on the large turnout for Noel Night to give them visibility. Next, McEvilly plans to hold weekly voter registrations in different areas of the city.

"I've made it my mission to get Occupy Detroit involved in civics," she said.

While the voter registration drive has been approved by the Occupy Detroit General Assembly, McEvilly said that it is not a priority, or interest, to everyone.

"There are people who don't want to be involved with voter registration because they think it's playing into the system we have that's completely corrupt."

But even with a new push for voter registration, Abbey-Lambertz writes Occupy Detroit is not shifting their focus towards politics:

"Occupy getting behind certain candidates and parties is a bad idea, my personal political leanings aside, and that's not where I'm planning to take this," McEvilly said. "Any law or appeal, anything electorally-speaking that I would want to get behind, would have to be approved by the General Assembly."

A press release from the Occupy Detroit website says the formation of the voter registration group was "prompted by the virtually unanimous opposition among occupiers to the anti-democratic emergency financial manager law, which enabled the state to bypass the will of the people."

Abbey-Lambertz reports repealing Michigan's emergency manager law is one political issue Occupy Detroit has officially endorsed.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom