The article above is about the rally that took place today downtown in front of the Spirit of Detroit to kick off the Detroit to Flint Water Justice Journey. The campaign, started by the People’s Water Board, is an effort to protest the city’s mass shutoff of water to over twenty-five thousand households. People’s Water Board. I attended the event with my supervisor to show support and rally with the people. I must say that I learned this issue is a lot more than unpaid water bills.
I kind of figured that though, because of all the people who got their water shutoff even though their bill was paid. There are a lot of people who say “Pay yours bills!” and “I don’t get to have free water, why should you?” and those people are sadly misinformed. The issue is about more than unpaid water bills. It’s about justice. Until today, I didn’t know the city of Flint got their water from Detroit. This is where Flint ties into the narrative- apparently, Detroit has discontinued water service to Flint in an effort to save money for the city. The problem is they did it without warning, nor a backup plan. They were just told to use the Flint river which is very contaminated. So much so, that since people have been forced to use the river water, spikes in various complications (hair loss, autoimmune disorders, skin burns, and children with lead poisoning) has risen leaving people without any options. That seem very callous. How can a state surrounded by water not afford to give clean, affordable water to all of it’s residents?
At the rally, we listened to various people speak their piece. Some spoke for those who could not, while others sang and offered prayers to remedy the situation. It was a very touching moment on a gorgeous Friday morning. But do not get it twisted, the PWB means business. They have an agenda and it starts with Governor Snyder acknowledging the problem. They have invited Governor Snyder to Flint next Friday (July 10th) to listen to what the people have to say. The PWB’s goals are to 1.) Stop the shut offs 2.) Restore service to those affected already and 3.) Fully implement the the Water Affordability Plan. Water Affordability Plan.
I’m confident that some type of resolution can be had if more and more people get involved and stand behind the cause. It’s going to be a fight, but the length depends on how many supporters stand up!