by W. Kim Heron
Last Friday evening around 5:30 P.M., some 100 protesters gathered at Riverside Park in Detroit underneath the great blue span of the Ambassador Bridge to tear down what Matty Moroun had put up: a 150 foot fence cutting off parts of the park and a section of Jefferson Avenue. Mr. Moroun is the owner of the bridge, the only privately owned border crossing between the United States and Canada.
The billionaire has long been opposed by those claiming unethical business practices, titling him a "slum lord" and painting him as a greedy billionaire obsessed with profit over anything else. As of late, this is hard to dispute.
Protesters are saying Moroun has put up fencing on publicly owned land, illegally, and were determined to get answers Friday. Saws, bolt cutters and power tools were present as demonstrators attempted to take back what was there's. They were met with four squad cars and threats of detainment.
Siting homeland security as the reason for the fencing, police attempted to disperse the crowd after an hour of angry voices making their arguments over megaphones. The thing is, Moroun doesn't own the land he has sectioned off.
State politicians like Rep. Rashida Tlaib have been speaking out on the issue for some time, and perhaps with much of the fencing torn down (which Moroun employees rolled up and took away, assumed to be put back up) a new light will be shed on the criminal activities of a highly caricatured businessman who is already attempting to sue the Michigan and Canadian governments over control of a second bridge, yet to be built.