Three days after launching a GoFundMe campaign, Detroit Will Breathe — the name protestors against police brutality in Detroit have adopted for their movement — has raised nearly $25,000. The group will use the money to purchase medical supplies, snacks and water, sound equipment and other protesting supplies, and food and gas money for organizers. The money will also be used to support medics and volunteers, and some funds will be set aside in case of an emergency.
More than 440 people have donated to the campaign, which has been shared almost 2,000 times on social media. “We invite everyone to join and stand with us in this historical battle against racism and oppression and to create the world that we deserve,” reads the GoFundMe campaign’s description. Detroit Will Breathe co-organizer Nakia Wallace is listed as the organizer for the fundraiser.
Recent donors have left comments thanking protesters for their work — they have marched for nearly two weeks straight in the city, calling for immediate changes in the Detroit Police Department, among other things. “No more dollars for corporations upholding the system of oppression. The only dollar that makes a difference is the dollar invested in the rise of black lives,” reads one comment. “One love to the one human race.” Another comment reads, “I care about my city, its people, my friends, and black men and women around the world. They are not treated with the rights they are entitled to and deserve justice in the modern world.”
Wallace and fellow Detroit Will Breathe co-organizer Tristan Taylor met with Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday morning to discuss the movement’s demands. When marchers gathered later that day, Wallace told them that the meeting “wasn’t anything particularly eventful” and they would not meet with city leaders behind closed doors again, the Detroit Free Press reports. They also told marchers that the city leaders tried to deflect conversations and spoke about developing subcommittees.
In a press conference today, Duggan said he had “enormous respect” for the people raising their voice to change systemic racism and criminal justice in the country, and told reporters that he spent two hours with Wallace and Taylor.
He also said that he told the co-organizers that he would listen to their demands, but they needed to be conscious of efforts by other social activists in the city. “The fact that they start marching at 4 o’clock and they get TV coverage because of the curfew does not displace all of the residents in this city and all of the activist groups that have been working for years,” Duggan said. “If they dismiss that as I said they had to be a part of a committee, that may be their interpretation. What I was saying is ‘you need to be respectful to the groups in this city that have been working on these issues for a lot of years.’”
During the press conference, Police Chief James Craig also shared that, over the last six days, protests in the city have been peaceful and there have been no arrests. “I applaud those peaceful protestors who are out there, getting their message out,” he said. “Again, I want to give a big thanks to the men and women of the Detroit Police Department, who really, over the last couple weeks, have worked diligently at making sure we’re keeping the city safe.”