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joeDowntown

Wealthy/Cherry Street businesses vandalized

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Was driving to my parents for Christmas today and saw this written on The Winchester (along with a broken window):

39nq.jpg

It reads "Yuppies yer time has come!". I also saw "Urban Renew =" on The Sparrows. It sounds like the Meanwhile and Green Well also got hit.

IMHO, this isn't a couple of dumb kids tagging the neighborhood (honestly, how many people tagging neighborhoods know about Urban Renewal, or care).

Kind of makes me wonder what the motive/agenda was. Down with revitalizing neighborhoods? Sounds a bit like someone with a vendetta. I don't know if many people are yearning for Wealthy circa 2000.

Anyone know which businesses got vandalized and what the messaging was? I sure hope some surveillance cameras caught them on tape. Pretty despicable, I hope they catch whoever is responsible, quick!

Joe

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Was driving to my parents for Christmas today and saw this written on The Winchester (along with a broken window):

39nq.jpg

It reads "Yuppies yer time has come!". I also saw "Urban Renew =" on The Sparrows. It sounds like the Meanwhile and Green Well also got hit.

IMHO, this isn't a couple of dumb kids tagging the neighborhood (honestly, how many people tagging neighborhoods know about Urban Renewal, or care).

Kind of makes me wonder what the motive/agenda was. Down with revitalizing neighborhoods? Sounds a bit like someone with a vendetta. I don't know if many people are yearning for Wealthy circa 2000.

Anyone know which businesses got vandalized and what the messaging was? I sure hope some surveillance cameras caught them on tape. Pretty despicable, I hope they catch whoever is responsible, quick!

Joe

The most in-depth coverage I've seen is an article on The Rapidian.

http://therapidian.org/christmas-tidings-vandalism-and-anarchy-5-uptown-businesses

Based on some postings and comments on Facebook that I saw this afternoon (gotta love social media), the police may have some solid leads to follow up on.

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Some pretty interesting comments too. One references an anti Artprize document that was floating around. Interesting to see the same rhetoric:

Against ArtPrize

"When a yuppie restaurant, say Electric Cheetah comes into the neighborhood, they don’t hire the people who lived in the city originally. They hire the hipsters, the bright white faces that yuppies want to see waiting tables for them."

I also found it interesting that they targeted the Richard App Gallery. Hasn't his gallery been in the neighborhood for a decade or more?

Silly people. It's good to hear they have good leads. I hope they are caught quickly.

Joe

Here's the piece from the Rapidian.

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Against ArtPrize

"When a yuppie restaurant, say Electric Cheetah comes into the neighborhood, they don’t hire the people who lived in the city originally. They hire the hipsters, the bright white faces that yuppies want to see waiting tables for them."

Interesting that they mention the Electric Cheetah as a specific example; from what I understand, Cory has made a concerted effort to hire neighborhood residents, often people with little restaurant experience.

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Some pretty interesting comments too. One references an anti Artprize document that was floating around. Interesting to see the same rhetoric:

Against ArtPrize

"When a yuppie restaurant, say Electric Cheetah comes into the neighborhood, they don’t hire the people who lived in the city originally. They hire the hipsters, the bright white faces that yuppies want to see waiting tables for them."

I also found it interesting that they targeted the Richard App Gallery. Hasn't his gallery been in the neighborhood for a decade or more?

Silly people. It's good to hear they have good leads. I hope they are caught quickly.

Joe

That manifesto and GRIID's website take you down some pretty interesting dark paths, including leading to this:

http://anarchists.diygr.org/2010/12/21/the-walls-are-aliv/

Funny how the photo caption says that the anarchy graffit, 4 days before the Dec. 25th vandalism streak, is "rad."

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As best I can tell, the theme of the vandalism and both of these sites seems to be a celebration of blight. It simply makes no sense to me. Here you have self-proclaimed "anarchists" sitting at home on their corporately produced computers cranking out rants against corporations over the corporately owned, controlled, and regimented Internet, which without commercialization and capital(ism) was basically a really crappy way to send mail without paper. That bit of delightful irony aside, you then have these same people celebrating the desecration of 1) small local business and 2) a venue that that brings positive publicity and money into the city. The fact of the matter is that these vandals and malcontents are not anarchists who dislike control or imposition of hierarchical structures. These are little punks who have no appreciation for the history of the community in which they live. Change comes. My great-grandmother's house and neighborhood was, for better or worse, converted into an area of run down houses occupied by people who neither looked nor acted anything like those who were there before them. We didn't vandalize her neighborhood because it charged. Charge happens. Now, places are slowly being reclaimed and reinvigorated by the grandsons and granddaughters of those who built these places in the first place. Admittedly, it is sad to see those who came between become displaced, but this cycle has happened before, and will probably happen again. Ultimately, these places are now more diverse than they were before, with less social stratification than existed in the 1980s. That, however, seems to be lost on idiots like this.

Unfortunately, the people who did this (and post these ridiculous articles decrying the "gentrification of Grand Rapids") seem to be educated people. That's really what scares me the most. Fining them and tossing them in jail for a few weeks isn't going to solve the underlying problem, which appears to be a deeply rooted ignorance tinged with racial and class hatred. I don't have a problem with anyone because they are poor or have dark skin. These people, however, seem to hate anyone who is "young, white, and articulate" or has the "bright white faces" apparently so cherished at Electric Cheetah. I would say this was ironic, but that might make me a "middle-class suburbanite" who is "obsessed with irony and indie music." Wouldn't want that, would we?

That manifesto and GRIID's website take you down some pretty interesting dark paths, including leading to this:

http://anarchists.di...walls-are-aliv/

Funny how the photo caption says that the anarchy graffit, 4 days before the Dec. 25th vandalism streak, is "rad."

Edited by x99

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As best I can tell, the theme of the vandalism and both of these sites seems to be a celebration of blight. It simply makes no sense to me. Here you have self-proclaimed "anarchists" sitting at home on their corporately produced computers cranking out rants against corporations over the corporately owned, controlled, and regimented Internet, which without commercialization and capital(ism) was basically a really crappy way to send mail without paper. That bit of delightful irony aside, you then have these same people celebrating the desecration of 1) small local business and 2) a venue that that brings positive publicity and money into the city. The fact of the matter is that these vandals and malcontents are not anarchists who dislike control or imposition of hierarchical structures. These are little punks who have no appreciation for the history of the community in which they live. Change comes. My great-grandmother's house and neighborhood was, for better or worse, converted into an area of run down houses occupied by people who neither looked nor acted anything like those who were there before them. We didn't vandalize her neighborhood because it charged. Charge happens. Now, places are slowly being reclaimed and reinvigorated by the grandsons and granddaughters of those who built these places in the first place. Admittedly, it is sad to see those who came between become displaced, but this cycle has happened before, and will probably happen again. Ultimately, these places are now more diverse than they were before, with less social stratification than existed in the 1980s. That, however, seems to be lost on idiots like this.

Unfortunately, the people who did this (and post these ridiculous articles decrying the "gentrification of Grand Rapids") seem to be educated people. That's really what scares me the most. Fining them and tossing them in jail for a few weeks isn't going to solve the underlying problem, which appears to be a deeply rooted ignorance tinged with racial and class hatred. I don't have a problem with anyone because they are poor or have dark skin. These people, however, seem to hate anyone who is "young, white, and articulate" or has the "bright white faces" apparently so cherished at Electric Cheetah. I would say this was ironic, but that might make me a "middle-class suburbanite" who is "obsessed with irony and indie music." Wouldn't want that, would we?

They are probably the same people who belong to the ELF. They seem intelligent yet seem to lack an even slippery grasp on logic. after all, if they opposed socialist states AND capitalism, so who is going to produce anything. apparently not the government and not individuals or companies, maybe aliens? they threw a brick through the window at Winchester. Ironic since a brick was produced by what is likely a capitalist pig. They will have to give that up if they get their way.

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As best I can tell, the theme of the vandalism and both of these sites seems to be a celebration of blight. It simply makes no sense to me. Here you have self-proclaimed "anarchists" sitting at home on their corporately produced computers cranking out rants against corporations over the corporately owned, controlled, and regimented Internet, which without commercialization and capital(ism) was basically a really crappy way to send mail without paper. That bit of delightful irony aside, you then have these same people celebrating the desecration of 1) small local business and 2) a venue that that brings positive publicity and money into the city. The fact of the matter is that these vandals and malcontents are not anarchists who dislike control or imposition of hierarchical structures. These are little punks who have no appreciation for the history of the community in which they live. Change comes. My great-grandmother's house and neighborhood was, for better or worse, converted into an area of run down houses occupied by people who neither looked nor acted anything like those who were there before them. We didn't vandalize her neighborhood because it charged. Charge happens. Now, places are slowly being reclaimed and reinvigorated by the grandsons and granddaughters of those who built these places in the first place. Admittedly, it is sad to see those who came between become displaced, but this cycle has happened before, and will probably happen again. Ultimately, these places are now more diverse than they were before, with less social stratification than existed in the 1980s. That, however, seems to be lost on idiots like this.

Unfortunately, the people who did this (and post these ridiculous articles decrying the "gentrification of Grand Rapids") seem to be educated people. That's really what scares me the most. Fining them and tossing them in jail for a few weeks isn't going to solve the underlying problem, which appears to be a deeply rooted ignorance tinged with racial and class hatred. I don't have a problem with anyone because they are poor or have dark skin. These people, however, seem to hate anyone who is "young, white, and articulate" or has the "bright white faces" apparently so cherished at Electric Cheetah. I would say this was ironic, but that might make me a "middle-class suburbanite" who is "obsessed with irony and indie music." Wouldn't want that, would we?

Well said. You could wade into the murky waters of this article and comment thread.

http://griid.org/2010/12/29/protest-against-gentrification-dismissed-as-prank/

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Well said. You could wade into the murky waters of this article and comment thread.

http://griid.org/201...issed-as-prank/

Those were some really murky waters. Wow. I hate to dig this up again, but I think it's worth mentioning as a valuable example of what those who attempt to improve our communities are often up against. There are people who actually don't want bad areas improved by white people because they think it is racist. They try to dress their theories up in legitimate sounding theories like "gentrification" to disguise how loony it all really is, but it is really, really, supremely nuts. To wit:

There was a nice bit about "an awful lot of White faces–white business owners, White wait-staff, White clerks, White customers–in an neighborhood that is predominently Black." Regarding tossing rocks through people's windows because the windows are owned by white people or rich people, it is "valid in theory to consider it a protest if it came from people who have legitimate concerns about gentrification of the area and the not-so-positive aspects that it might bring about." I can hardly fathom how turning out garbage like this is acceptable in the 21st century. Can you even imagine what would happen if a white person said that about black people? A white person throwing a rock through a black persons windows because he was black could arguably be a federal hate crime. That said, I don't have a "firm understanding of white privilege and institutional racism," so I just don't get it, I suppose.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a developer trying to work in an atmosphere where you have very educated and convincing-sounding (but horribly ignorant) people trying to impede you at every turn, and stopping just short of calling you a racist pig for having the nerve to rehab a building in a poor minority neighborhood. You get to be a quasi-racist just because you fixed up an old dump and now homeless people can't live in the basement and crack dealers can't sell drugs from the front steps. Fun, huh? It's kookery like this that makes greenfield development out in Cascade look voluminously more attractive. Of course, then you've got to hear the UPers griping about 5 acres of cornfield. :whistling:

Edited by GRDadof3

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Those were some really murky waters. Wow. I hate to dig this up again, but I think it's worth mentioning as a valuable example of what those who attempt to improve our communities are often up against. There are people who actually don't want bad areas improved by white people because they think it is racist. They try to dress their theories up in legitimate sounding theories like "gentrification" to disguise how loony it all really is, but it is really, really, supremely nuts. To wit:

There was a nice bit about "an awful lot of White faces–white business owners, White wait-staff, White clerks, White customers–in an neighborhood that is predominently Black." Regarding tossing rocks through people's windows because the windows are owned by white people or rich people, it is "valid in theory to consider it a protest if it came from people who have legitimate concerns about gentrification of the area and the not-so-positive aspects that it might bring about." I can hardly fathom how turning out garbage like this is acceptable in the 21st century. Can you even imagine what would happen if a white person said that about black people? A white person throwing a rock through a black persons windows because he was black could arguably be a federal hate crime. That said, I don't have a "firm understanding of white privilege and institutional racism," so I just don't get it, I suppose.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a developer trying to work in an atmosphere where you have very educated and convincing-sounding (but horribly ignorant) people trying to impede you at every turn, and stopping just short of calling you a racist pig for having the nerve to rehab a building in a poor minority neighborhood. You get to be a quasi-racist just because you fixed up an old dump and now homeless people can't live in the basement and crack dealers can't sell drugs from the front steps. Fun, huh? It's kookery like this that makes greenfield development out in Cascade look voluminously more attractive. Of course, then you've got to hear the UPers griping about 5 acres of cornfield. :whistling:

I don't agree with all the things the people who post on GRIID have to say, but I am very glad there are media watchdogs like this out there. Certainly there are a lot of stories the mainstream local media does not cover thoroughly enough. That's why I'm glad to see other blogs, twitter, Rapid Growth, and the Rapidian take up the slack to some extent.

While Kate Wheeler takes the issue farther than I do, institutional racism and white privilege are real issues in many (most?) areas of the US. They should be considered when we think about what's going on in here in GR. They play a role in whether we are an open, accepting community for people from many backgrounds.

I can't help but think that another post on GRIID about the racist and disgusting comments on Mlive (http://griid.org/201...f-the-gr-press/), helped play some role in the Press moving to call out and remove these types of posts. Maybe it didn't, but that would be quite a coincidence. This is certainly something I think most readers of this board are in favor of.

I've also found their local media directory quite useful a few times: http://griid.org/media-directory/

Edited by fotoman311

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I noticed today that the Hastings side of the Coit bridge had the same A in circle on it; and the writing "STOP KILLING US". Are they protesting the bridge, the highway, medical mile? I've gone to watch the fireworks and overlook the city up there for as long as I can remember and those seem to be the only things that have really changed. The people now don't seem any richer than what I saw 10 years ago.

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This is so frustrating. I hope police are getting closer to getting something accomplished now then they were after the Christmas vandalism event.

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Unfinished townhouse behind ICCF set on fire. No word yet on how it started, but I would not be surprised it is related to the vandalism.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/02/blaze_destroys_one_of_three_to.html

I was thinking the same thing when I saw this. I hope its not. Arson is a very dangerous form of vandalism. Throw a brick through a window and the business owner has to replace a window. Start a fire and people can die.

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Unfinished townhouse behind ICCF set on fire. No word yet on how it started, but I would not be surprised it is related to the vandalism.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/02/blaze_destroys_one_of_three_to.html

I was just thinking this morning that we're coming up on the 3 month anniversary of the vandalism (Dec. 25th and Jan. 25th) and wondered if neighbors planned to camp out.

The city better wake up to the reality that this might start driving businesses and residents out (see Detroit).

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Not the best PR for selling homes if it's these lunatics back at it. Can you imagine buying a brand new house and having this stuff happen? I really hope this was an accident.

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Not the best PR for selling homes if it's these lunatics back at it. Can you imagine buying a brand new house and having this stuff happen? I really hope this was an accident.

The townhomes were still under construction, just at framing stage. No gas or electric service to them yet, so the fire is being considered "suspicious."

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It's Ironic that these are the same type of people who if the business, and new investment pulled out, would cause more problems once the neighborhood was blighted again.

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Did anyone on this forum get a letter, or know someone who did? What did you think when you saw it?

I apologize in advance if it's a difficult subject to talk about.

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Did anyone on this forum get a letter, or know someone who did? What did you think when you saw it?

I apologize in advance if it's a difficult subject to talk about.

I know people who live fairly close to the townhomes, but don't know anyone who got the letter.

If I received a letter that threatened to "kidnap" someone in my family because of where I choose to live, I'm not quite sure I'd be able to contain my rage.

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I know people who live fairly close to the townhomes, but don't know anyone who got the letter.

If I received a letter that threatened to "kidnap" someone in my family because of where I choose to live, I'm not quite sure I'd be able to contain my rage.

This just makes me upset, and I have a hard time formulating my thoughts around the arrogance of the people who have chosen to do this.

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