This news is, of course, perfectly appalling.
John K. King books is one of the best bookstores in the world, and a local landmark in the city of Detroit. The janky banners are part of the charm, and a perfectly legitimate form of self-promotion that helps the store look like it’s supposed to, and connect with the people they are trying to connect with, while harming exactly no-one.
The local government’s extortionate demands for a permit are uncalled-for. The claim that such demands come from
the city of Detroit are, of course, also absurd. Almost no-one in the city of Detroit cares. Those who do are as likely to be on King Books’ side as they are to be on the city government’s. It would be far more accurate to say that this is yet another instance of the local government threatening the city of Detroit — which King Books is a far more valuable and productive part of, than any bureaucratic entity or a parasitic control freak like Mike Duggan.
King Books isn’t hurting anyone. They’re doing a great thing. Leave them alone.