People of Ypsilanti and Detroit Shut Down Local IOF Funder

People of Ypsilanti and Detroit
People of Ypsilanti and Detroit Shut Down Local IOF Funder


Protesters outside Prime and Proper on 12/31/23 face down a cop car while occupying State St. and the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

On New Years Eve, while people in the U.S. celebrated with fireworks, Palestinians in Gaza mourned their martyrs as white phosphorus, dropped by israel and funded by America, blanketed the world around them.

The Youth of Palestine called for the free people of the world to “unite, in every city of the world, to organize protests to support Palestine on New Years Eve,” to not “let 2023 slip away unnoticed,” and to not “celebrate while the genocidal war continues….and beloved Gaza faces brutal killing and inhuman siege.” One group of people from Ypsilanti and Detroit–who heeded that call–refused to countdown the new year without demanding an end to all commercial, financial, and military contributions to the israeli occupation of Palestine. They did so not just with their voices, but with their bodies.

The group targeted the Detroit restaurant Prime+Proper, part of the Heirloom Hospitality group, owned by Jeremy Sasson. The goal was to disrupt the profits Sasson reaps from expensive menu items and funnels into the “Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces” (FIDF) organization as a prominent and vocal donor. The Michigan chapter of the FIDF funds a “Michigan House” in Al-Majdal (from which Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948) and offers “leisure and therapeutic services” to israeli occupation soldiers gleefully executing Palestinians. Days after the world witnessed the horrific israeli onslaught on Gaza, seeing hundreds of Palestinians be massacred and hospitals bombed, Jeremy posted “Let Israel live” on his Facebook page–his exact response to Palestinians being evicted from and attacked in Sheikh Jarrah in 2021. His businesses were targeted after that post in 2021, and recently in a protest at Townhouse Detroit. At that incident, two men rushed out of the restaurant with Israeli flags verbally harassing protesters.

On December 31st, protesters took an inside/outside strategy to put a spotlight on Prime+Proper. Around noon, about a dozen protesters were sat inside the bougie restaurant before suddenly disrupting all operations by chanting, flyering, and speaking with customers and employees. At the same time, directly outside, a rally was held to spread awareness to passers-by and to further disrupt restaurant operations. Flyers notifying the public of Jeremy Sasson, Heirloom Hospitality group, and Prime+Proper’s zionist support were distributed. Once disruption began inside, patrons and employees met protesters with a variety of reactions. One customer shoved multiple people, and attempted to snatch a protester’s phone, while hurling insults. An employee pulled out a baton and attempted to block the doors. Productive conversations were held with other employees; some learned for the first time that their job funds the Palestinian genocide, and considered quitting. The majority of customers left the premises as well as several employees. Cops arrived within about 20 minutes, yet protestors were able to remain inside for around 15 minutes more before exiting without injuries or arrest. The outside rally continued for about two more hours and resulted in the restaurant posting “RESERVATIONS ONLY NO WALK IN TRAFFIC ALLOWED” signs for the remainder of the day. The rally prevented customers from entering Prime+Proper and also blocked State Street for about 30 minutes before marching down Woodward Avenue.

Protesters with megaphones and banners outside Prime+Proper. One banner reads “BOYCOTT THOSE WHO FUND GENOCIDE! PRIME+PROPER / MAD NICE / TOWNHOUSE,” another reads “NO MONEY FOR HEALTHCARE, NO MONEY FOR COLLEGE, INFINITE MONEY FOR WAR.”

The wealthy business owners, the greedy bosses, the complacent politicians, the corporate executives, and the wealthy benefactors of settler colonialism will continue to deny the genocide, will continue to lie to the people that the israeli zionist onslaught is justified while the Palestinian fight for liberation is wrong. They will tell us to work through it, party through it, sleep through it, ignore it, forget it. The only way the people, as unwilling participants in the U.S. war machine, can turn the tides against the genocidal US-israeli imperial and settler colonial empire is to disrupt all flows of capital into israel, to stop all manufacturing of arms for israel, to apply pressure to all financial contributors to the israeli occupation of Palestine.

Jeremy Sasson should know we will continue to target his restaurants, in person and from afar, until he stops giving money to support genocidal soldiers. Financial supporters of the IOF and the occupation of Palestine should know that their enterprises are not welcome and will not be patronized in our cities.

No celebration until liberation. No business as usual during a genocidal occupation. Boycott Jeremy Sasson, Heirloom Hospitality, Prime+Proper, Townhouse, Mad Nice! Free Palestine!


People of Ypsilanti and Detroit

*UPDATE: FLYER NOW HAS A BANNER SAYING ‘POSTPONED’ ACROSS THE FRONT* ~ Flyer reads: “SATURDAY JAN.6TH SHUT IT DOWN! FOR PALESTINE / 5-10pm PRIME + PROPER 1145 Griswold St. Detroit, MI 48226 / Outdoors! Share Widely! No Money for IOF!”