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Belle Isle Commonwealth: #Anarchy in Detroit, Part IV

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Published on Sep 23, 2013

Part I, The Mower Gang - http://youtu.be/Eh7leu5Dr-I

Part II, Detroit Threat Management - http://youtu.be/HnPZ1yuoFIc

Part III, Fireweed Universe City - http://youtu.be/NZ5ZgmjuTt8

Part IV, Belle Isle Commonwealth - http://youtu.be/pwTq6xlEXpQ

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We all know Detroit's in trouble: A bankrupt city full of crumbling houses, abandoned factory buildings, and a fast-dwindling population.

But while politicians, unions, and investors slug it out in bankruptcy court and grasp for their share of what little cash is left, ordinary citizens are left to fend for themselves in a city with no functioning government. This is Reason TV's coverage of what happens when people are left to their own devices and forced to come up with creative ways to pick up the pieces and find solutions in a city they once loved.

This is #Anarchy in Detroit, We all know Detroit's in trouble: A bankrupt city full of crumbling houses, abandoned factory buildings, and a fast-dwindling population.

But while politicians, unions, and investors slug it out in bankruptcy court and grasp for their share of what little cash is left, ordinary citizens are left to fend for themselves in a city with no functioning government. This is Reason TV's coverage of what happens when people are left to their own devices and forced to come up with creative ways to pick up the pieces and find solutions in a city they once loved.

This is #Anarchy in Detroit, a four-part series showcasing what actual Detroit residents are doing to make the Motor City a better place to live.

In Part II, Reason TV collaborated with Free Detroit's Local Focus to highlight the story of Detroit Threat Management, a private security firm that provides cheap car-to-front door escorts to small business owners, security details to large companies, free protection to local neighborhoods plagued by violent crime, and self-defense training to Detroit citizens. Dale Brown, one of the founders, sees their service as essential in a city with a crime rate five times the national average.

"I attribute the bankruptcy and all the economic issues to a lack of safety," says Brown. "If you don't feel safe, why would you invest there?"

In Part IV, Reason TV visited Belle Isle, an island in the Detroit river that currently functions as a public park. And we spoke to Rod Lockwood, a real estate developer and author who's proposed a plan to purchase the island from the city for $1 billion and turn it into an income tax-free haven for wealthy investors. He says this is Detroit's best opportunity to dig itself out of the hole.

"We would expect a quarter of a trillion dollars in capital would be brought onto the island," says Lockwood. "Detroit would have its own Singapore in its backyard."

Watch the video above, and check out the rest of the series here. Part I profiles The Mower Gang, a rag-tag group of beer drinking, weed-whacking do-gooders who've taken it upon themselves to care for Detroit's abandoned parks. Part II profiles Detroit Threat Management, a private security firm supplementing the efforts of the city's beleaguered law enforcement.Part III explores Fireweed Universe City, a neighborhood of anarchist squatters.

Approximately 3 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer and Weissmueller. Music by Cassiopee Asphodel and Treaty.

Check out Free Detroit's great coverage of this topic and others in their Detroit Local Focus series, which provided interview footage for this piece.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions of this video, and don't forget to subscribe to Reason TV's Youtube channel for more content like this.

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