Progressive Graffiti

An Open Letter to My Students After My Arrest for Disorderly Conduct

Kim Redigan, Catholic high school teacher, writes an open letter to her students after being arrested for disorderly conduct while engaging in nonviolent actions to protest the Detroit City water shutoffs.

An Open Letter to My Students After My Arrest for Disorderly Conduct

Dear students:

Some of you have contacted me after seeing news of my arrest for a nonviolent action around the water shutoffs here in Detroit. While I am touched by your concern, I implore you to reserve your support for those being affected by the shutoffs and your own generation, which, unless things change, is on track to inherit a commodified world in which beauty, nature, life itself will be sold off to the lowest corporate bidder, an affront to all that is good, decent and human.

The action in which I and several others engaged was only a small gesture of loving resistance, a humble offering of our own bodies against the dehumanizing and democracy-crushing effects of life under Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager. Pope Paul VI once said the world needs witnesses more than it needs teachers, and in times like these, to be a teacher may mean to move the classroom to the street in order to bear witness to the grave injustices that are harming our neighbors….

Kim Redigan

This is a must-read. I think many of you will want to share it with your family and friends.

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • She really embodies what an activist is, and I admire her for that. She is brave and compassionate- something we should all strive to be. Very inspiring!

  • This letter is so moving and informs us that it is most truly the “heart” of our nation that is at greatest risk.
    Thank you.

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