Group occupies Detroit City Hall for sit-in protest against emergency manager

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A group protesting the appointment of Detroit's emergency manager has occupied the eleventh floor of Detroit's city hall and is staging a sit-in.

From about 12:30 until 1:15 pm, a group of about three dozen protestors gathered in a hallway of the city's Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. They were on the eleventh floor, where Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr have their offices.

The group did not get inside the office area.

Reverend Charles William II was part of the group and said the protests would not stop until Detroiters "Get their voting rights back."

"We send the message that emergency management is a challenge to our voting rights," Williams said.

Williams is the leader of the Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit and is president of National Action Network in Michigan.

Williams was joined by Malik Shabazz, who has made some controversial comments in the past. Today Shabazz came with Oreo cookies and tea bags for Mayor Bing and city council member Gary Brown because, he says, they have sold out the voters.

"This is April Fools Day, and we have some gifts for some fools," Shabazz says. "Black on the outside and white on the inside. And that means no disrespect to white people. You don't do anything to hurt the majority population of our city, which is 82.7% African American."

Last week, Williams  was part of a group of one hundred people who occupied the building's lobby.

Also today, community activist Robert Davis filed a lawsuit as an attempt to thwart the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. This is the fourth lawsuit field against Orr and the third filed by Robert Davis.

Davis is also suing the Detroit City Council because they did not fight the state takeover of Detroit in Circuit Court.

We've learned City Council President Charles Pugh asked for a meeting this afternoon with Orr to define the council's power under an EM in the wake of this latest lawsuit.

In another of Davis's lawsuits against the city, he was granted subpoenas for Orr, Governor Rick Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillon. 

They are scheduled to testify in Detroit tomorrow morning. Davis says if they don't show up, he'll go back in court to seek a judge's order or even sanctions.

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