Anarchists in Grand Rapids, MI Set Fires and Smash Windows Against Gentrification

From M Live

Grand Rapids Police are investigating letters mailed to residents of a Southeast Side neighborhood that threaten arson and retaliation for area revitalization.

The letters were received by mail Friday at homes near a recent suspicious fire, police said.

The blaze on Feb. 22 damaged a section of townhouses under construction at 914 Blodgett St. SE.

Police say the letters threatening retaliation for ongoing revitalization.

Residents received the letter Friday from a group calling themselves “The Old Neighbors,” the group claims responsibility for the fire and also reads “We are not peaceful. We are not willing to negotiate.”

The same letter states that the group “placed three incendiary devices throughout the first story of the household.”

The group claims the “attack was not isolated, nor will it be the last.” It wants East Hills Condominiums residents to leave that area and hopes low-income housing will be put in the East Hills neighborhood, in the area of Cherry and Hollister.

The letter ends by saying, “Failure to comply will result in a multitude of repercussions, including, but not limited to: destruction of vehicles and houses, muggings, burglary and kidnapping.”

Investigators are looking into a possible connect to earlier property damage complaints in recent weeks.

In January, vandals struck two Wealthy Street businesses. On Christmas morning in December 2010 vandals damaged a bar and restaurant and other businesses on Wealthy St where the actors had spray painted a pig and then wrote, ‘Gentrify this.’ And then on another window wrote ‘Yuppie scum, your time has come,'”.

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