February 7, 2016

Anti-Gitmo coalition maps out plans of action


STANDISH — Monday night the Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church’s cafeteria attracted about 150 people ready to do more than just talk about opposing the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Standish Max.

They were ready to hit the streets, as they did on Tuesday when they protested outside of Standish mayor Kevin King’s house, and also plan to do Friday at the corner of US-23 and M-61.

Kelly Kimball, a Standish resident and member of the Michigan Coalition to Stop Gitmo North, instructed people in attendance Monday to call state and U.S. Representatives and Senators to oppose the move.

“Call their offices everyday in Washington D.C. and let them know how you feel,” she said. “We want to make sure when we get our point across we’re very civil and we’re not rude.”

Dave Munson, another Standish member of the coalition, said unfunded federal mandates and outside protesters would follow the Gitmo detainees to the prison.

“There’s a lot of side issues if these people come here. … There is no job benefit if they come here,” he said, adding that coalition members and protesters of the transfer could make a difference. “If we make enough noise, we will not get these people here.”

During the event Monday night, ideas were also collected for other ways to use the prison, or market the prison, and people were informed that some townships were beginning to pass resolutions against the Guantanamo Bay detainees being transferred to Standish Max.

“We did pass a resolution,” said Lincoln Township Supervisor Dave Hertzberg. “We’re supporting anything but Guantanamo Bay prisoners.”

It was also said at the event that Clayton Township was planning on passing a resolution against the transfer as well.

The prison is scheduled to close officially Oct. 31.

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