Detroit DSA

From the Blog

January 15, 2019

Chapter Spotlight: Detroit DSA: Holding Whitmer’s Feet to the Fire

by Kyle Minton

Dan Loepp with illuminated eyes. (All photos: Aaron Barton)

Detroit DSA demanded that Governor Gretchen Whitmer remove Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO Dan Loepp from her transition team, citing BCBS’s role in benefiting from the private insurance model. When Whitmer declined, DSAers decided to march on the Blues’ Lansing headquarters to demand Loepp step down.

On December 14, two dozen organizers reconnoitered at a nearby library, mostly from Detroit DSA but also from other progressive groups. Some came from as far away as Holland. Before protestors even left the library, Capitol police arrived to tell them they would intervene if either side broke any rules.

Blue Cross Blue Shield was ready, too. When activists arrived at the doors, they were locked. Several security guards and maintenance employees stood behind them. Coincidentally, a Jimmy Johns delivery driver pulled up just as the demonstrators arrived. When the door was opened, every protestor pulled out their BCBS membership card and proceeded through the doors after the delivery. They demanded, as paying customers, that they should be able to get a meeting.

Security and maintenance employees immediately began shoving. One employee told a protestor they would be in “a world of hurt” if they... (read more)