DETROIT FREE PRESS
Musician known for work with Mekons leads show that will raise funds for green space commemorating ’32 Ford Hunger March
Standing on a barren patch of grass in the shadow of the Marathon refinery, Paul Draus is a man with a vision.
Here in the city’s Oakwood Heights neighborhood, along the banks of the Rouge River in the middle of Michigan’s most polluted ZIP code, Draus looks past Southwest Detroit’s scarred industrial landscape and sees a diamond in the rough.
In the wake of Marathon’s multi-billion-dollar expansion and its controversial home-buyout program here, Draus and his colleagues in the Fort-Rouge Gateway Partnership envision a greener future where the grass is transformed into a small, but strategic green space, a critical link in the Iron Belle bike trail and a buffer zone amid a sea of gray. And this weekend, their goal is getting some assitance from a famed Welsh punk rocker.
“I come from Newport in South Wales, and violent struggle against social injustice is writ large in the history of that town,” says Langford, known for his work with groups like Mekons and Waco Brothers. “The Chartists were gunned down in numbers there in 1839 for asking for democratic reforms that we take for granted today.”
Site of the infamous 1932 Ford Hunger March, the proposed park next to the recently reopened Fort Street Bridge is the brainchild of the late Ed Bagale, the former University of Michigan-Dearborn executive known for bringing local stakeholders together on environmental projects such as the green roof atop Ford Motor Company’s Rouge manufacturing complex in nearby Dearborn [ . . . ]More at Detroit Free Press: Welsh punk-rock icon Jon Langford headlines Friday fund-raiser to commemorate Ford Hunger March