Monica Lewis-Patrick Speaks 
at the Teach-in at the Algiers Motel, June 8th 2020

Wow! Look at y'all-- all this deliciousness out here. Peace and blessings family.
I wanna join with all the elders, I definitely am honored to join and even have my name called among them. I'm actually a Yelder, I'm only 54. I know that to  y'all that's a long time, but I wanna make sure that as you're doing all this amazing work of building revolution-- that we know with every revolution there's a cost to pay. As I'm sitting here looking into the faces of these babies, I know y’all aren't playing no games. 

But as I look at this sea of humanity, what I need to make sure that you do is not only as has been stated, to connect what's happened here at 8301 and the history and the legacy of revolutionary resistance in this city but in I need you to connect it to what's happening around the fact that our schools are being defunded. 

So you had over 600 million dollars that were redirected to Dan Gilbert as a slush fund for him to clear property. While it took 600 million dollars outta the school aid fund for our babies. So you can't tell us how much corporate America spends with Detroiters when at the same time you're fleecing the coffers of the city. When you talk about the fact that eighty percent of the bankruptcy of this city was on the backs of pensioners. Guess how much the average pension is in the City of Detroit? It's 19,000 dollars. And then they turned around and took 50 percent of the healthcare of those pensioners, and then they took anywhere from 11- 22 percent of their pension. And then they had the audacity to go into their annuities-- their own personal money that they had set aside for their golden years to invest in you, and you, and you, and then they took some of that!  And then when you look at your water department! Your water department. So you wanna know if Black Lives really matter, then what you should do is restore the 600 million dollars that was stolen from the lowest homeowners in the city of Detroit.

If you really believe that Black lives matter, then all of you from all across the state of Michigan will join with me and many others that have been holding it down for decades. You just saw some of those queen warriors, they've been fighting for over 20 years for water affordability in this city. They have also been part of the architecture to actually usher in water affordability in other cities! While we still can't get it in our city! 

When you look at the fact that over 171 thousand Detroiters have been shut off from water and even during a pandemic we were having to beg for relief. And you look at the fact that Flint right now has over 5,000 residents that have not been restored but somebody said that's alright. And when you look at the fact that before a pandemic we were already on pace by the year 2022 for 36.5 percent of the nation not to be able to afford their water! And right now, in a pandemic 20 percent of the nation cannot flush their toilets or wash their hands! 

So I need you to make sure that this minute and this moment stays the movement cause 11 days has made them nervous! But 111 days will make them afraid! 

I'm gonna leave you-- with the words of the greatest man in the history of this city, he said, “If you find a good fight, get at it!” THE FIGHT FOR BLACK LIVES IS THAT FIGHT-- I DARE YOU TO STAY IN IT, BECAUSE UNTIL WE GET POLICIES CONNECTED TO YOUR PASSION AND YOUR PROTEST WE AIN'T DONE A DAMN THING! Until we get community policing, where you have the audacity to police me you live next to me! Your babies go to school with my babies, BUT YOU CAN'T TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THIS CITY, AND DONT YALL KNEEL ONE MORE DAMN TIME! Not one more damn time! Don't you kneel until we get a policy. Don't you kneel until we get a position. Don't you kneel because the symbolism of that is disrespectful. 

You kneeling in the front, they hitting us in the back of the head! Don't you kneel until your demands have been met! Then you kneel. Don't Kneel! Don't kneel one more time, cause you ain't won nothing yet! You just got their attention. Put your demands on the table. Don't you back away until you get what you came for! You stay in the room until we get what we came for. WE CAME FOR FREEDOM! WE CAME FOR FREEDOM! WE CAME FOR FREEDOM! 

We are your mothers and I'm telling you, we are talking all across the nation. Black mothers have not always been able to take that we were releasing you into what could be the belly of the beast. WE HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR THIS MOMENT! WE HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR YOU! YOU ARE OUR HOPE! YOU ARE OUR PROMISE! IF I DON'T NEVER BREATHE ANOTHER BREATH EVERYTHING THAT WE’VE DONE HAS BEEN FOR THIS MOMENT-- FOR YOU TO RECOGNIZE YOUR VALUE AND YOUR WORTH! YOU ARE SO PRECIOUS! YOU ARE SO PRECIOUS! YOU ARE SO PRECIOUS. 

But I'm telling you we have got to talk to ourselves in this moment and we are, we are talking to each other to know that we don't wanna hold you so tight that you don't get to embrace your moment of growth. THIS IS YOUR MOMENT! AND WE WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO DENY YOU YOUR MOMENT! But you better know your momma is waiting and we will stand between anything, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL TO PROTECT YOU AND TO AVENGE YOU! But I want you to know. I want you to know that you are not only loved but you are dearly loved. And so there's a phrase we use in this city, WELCOME TO BELOVED DETROIT. Welcome to Beloved Detroit. ‘Cause this is what it looks like. This is what it looks like. I love you. I love you with everything that's in me.

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