These past few months have been quite challenging, and it's in challenging times that you find out what your community and its leaders are made of. Kalamazoo as a community have come together so strongly the past few months in solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. We've remained strong, peaceful, vocal and most importantly, persistent in fighting for equality and for what's right. But with the recent actions of last weekend, the community is fed up and demanding real leadership.

A group started online called "Recall Anderson" is driving hard to remove Kalamazoo's Mayor David Anderson, along with City Manager Jim Ritsema and Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas, all from office. Simply put, their statement is: "He does not and will not protect us. He has tear gassed his constituents and watched while we get beat up by Proud Boys."

Tons of controversy has transpired regarding the handling of the recent Proud Boys rally. For those who are unaware or uninformed, the group has spelled it out by posing three questions and providing answers, so we can REALLY see the travesty of how the city handled last week's gathering:

1. Who came to town and where did they come from?
We already have proof that at least two, well-known domestic terrorists marched with the Proud Boys. One of whom, Brien James, is the founder of Vinlanders Social Club and current leader of American Guard.
These men are convicted domestic terrorists.
I think it would be helpful for regular Kalamazoo residents to learn more about these people and their history of violence.

2. Who did they attack?
I saw long-time residents attacked. Two local U.S. military veterans. Elderly residents. Two homeless men who live at the Gospel mission. Numerous social workers who were there to help keep homeless folks safe. Bronson healthcare workers.
Several parents of Kalamazoo Public School children - people who have lived and worked in Kalamazoo their entire lives. I think it might be helpful to have these voices speak out.

3. Finally, I think it is important that we continue asking this question: Why was the neo-nazi rally permitted to use their private vehicles to close down our streets?
Why were they allowed to drive around without license plates? Why did they receive a police escort? Why were they permitted to disrupt a local religious gathering that had a permit at Arcadia? Why wasn't there a police cordon as was the case during previous hate group rallies? Previous hate groups were required to acquire a permit and the police set up cordons well in advance of any counter protests. Finally - Isn't this clearly a violation of 18 U.S. Code, Section 2101 - as well as Michigan statutes that prohibit willfully traveling to a city to incite riots?

I think these are all fair questions. The group is progressively seeking justice and will not stop until those they feel had the power to prevent this, are removed from office.

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