Local activists face steep jail time for alleged graffiti

Two Detroit artist-activists are facing up to four years in prison for allegedly painting a large black fist and the phrase “Free the Water” on a water tower in Highland Park. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is charging Antonio Cosme and William Lucka, both members of the Raiz Up hip hop and arts collective, with trespassing and felony malicious destruction of property. Even if they avoid prison time, legal fees, court costs, probation and diversion could cost up to $9,000. Their final court date is scheduled for June 23 at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

Cosme has been involved with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management and the People’s Water Board for several years. Lucka is an muralist and a volunteer guitar teacher with Grace in Action. The two activists are urging supporters to attend their upcoming court date and are interested in offering arts-related work trades to those willing to help raise funds. To learn more, visit their Facebook event page. Supporters can also contact them at nftrs.raizup@gmail.com or help them cover their burdensome legal costs by visiting their Funded Justice fundraising pagefundraising page.