In Detroit, two street artists confronted politically-motivated felony charges for allegedly painting the words “Free the Water” and a large black fist on the Highland Park water tower in 2014. Artists William Lucka and Antonio Cosme faced hefty fines and prison time on charges of malicious destruction of property and more. Detroit has faced its own water crisis in recent years, as the city has cut off running water from tens of thousands of homes. The United Nations has condemned Detroit’s ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law.
Thanks to widespread community support and media coverage, the prosecution agreed to negotiate with Lucka and Antonio. Rather than going to trial, they hammered out an arrangement for 1 year of nonreporting probation and 120 hours of community service each.
But funds are still needed
The Circuit Court is charging Lucka and Antonio fees of nearly one thousand dollars apiece. Such legal financial obligations are routinely used to criminalize poverty and bury low-income Detroiters under ever-growing mountains of debt.
PLEASE DONATE to help ensure that they don’t face even more severe punishments for failure to pay. We can finally end this case together!