Cleveland congregations flock to Detroit, protest arena plan

Protesters go to Detroit to speak out against Q Renovations

DETROIT - Members of various Cleveland-area churches boarded buses Tuesday and headed to Detroit to try and find Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

They are concerned that Cuyahoga County Council could soon spend $140 million to renovate the Quicken Loans Arena where the Cavs play.

The crowd, which included about 200 people, would like to instead see the money go into renovating inner-city neighborhoods.

It was around lunch time when they made it to a park on Woodward Avenue, across the street from the headquarters for Quicken Loans, which Gilbert founded.

Donnesha Cooper, the mother of Alianna DeFreeze, was among them. Earlier this year Alianna was abducted and murdered on her way to school.

“All we’re saying is that we all can win,” said Reverend Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Baptist Church, “Not just a championship team but a championship city.”

“We need to focus back on families, we need to focus back on making people safe,” Pastor Tanya Robinson said.

Leaders of the group called “Greater Cleveland Congregations” claim that they had been trying to get Gilbert to pay attention to them for weeks, but had no luck.

On Tuesday, however, they handed a letter to one of his assistants outside his building.

“Somebody actually came on down,” said Donna Weinberger of Kol Halev, “Which is the most response we’ve had actually from the organization.”

Yet there were still those who took to social media to vent about churches complaining.

“How can you protest if you do not pay taxes to contribute to the community?” wrote a viewer named Kelly on the WKYC Facebook page.

Messages to Dan Gilbert requesting a comment were not returned.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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