PRESS RELEASE: News from We the People of Detroit

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For Immediate Release

News from We the People of Detroit

Monday, April 16, 2018

Contact: Monica Lewis-Patrick, wethepeopleofdetroit@gmail.com313-530-0054

Detroiters Join Flint in Calling for Safe, Affordable Water for All

Group demands policies recognizing water as a human right and sacred trust

DETROIT – Today, We the People of Detroit joined Flint residents to demand Governor Rick Snyder reverse his dangerous and inhumane blockage of free bottled water to Flint families. Community members know few lead water pipes have been replaced and say the water is still not safe to drink without a filter. Water prices are going up, and trust in government continues to go down based on lies and cover-ups from the Snyder administration’s initial denial that Flint’s water was poisoned.

“Imagine being denied clean, free water and having to trust the very folks who poisoned your family,” said Monica Lewis Patrick of We the People of Detroit. “Despite reports of persistent skin rashes from the water and testing still showing spikes in lead levels and bacteria, Flint residents now must choose between drinking unsafe city water or paying even more for bottled water.”

The decision to end bottled water for Flint comes at about the same time his Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) gave the go-ahead to Nestle Waters North America to double the amount of water it is taking virtually for free from the Great Lakes – water sold around the world, including in Flint. The MDEQ made this decision despite receiving a historic number of public comments against the idea.

The governor rationalized stopping Flint’s water distribution by saying the state was paying $650,000 a month for bottled water.

“This kind of thinking — placing a price on human safety — is how the governor and his emergency managers poisoned Flint in the first place,” said Lewis-Patrick. “Snyder is disregarding the wisdom, will and health of people. He’s only thinking about the bottom line and increasing corporate profits, which creates disasters in the lives of people and on our fragile Earth. The massive water shutoffs in Detroit reflect the same abysmal attitude, so we stand in solidarity with the people of Flint”

In Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan is moving ahead with water shutoffs to 17,461 households. These shutoffs will be done by Homrich Wrecking with their newly approved $7.8 million contract.

We the People of Detroit condemn these decisions by the governor and mayor. They should be resisted by every means available. As such, We the People of Detroit demands:

  • A statewide water policy that ensures Water is a Human Right and a Sacred Trust;
  • The immediate revoking of the permits for all corporations withdrawing water for private profit from the Great Lakes basin;
  • That Nestle return the profits it has gained from the sale of Michigan water to the people through a public fund that restores ecological systems and wetlands;
  • An immediate moratorium on water shutoffs in all cities and municipalities; and
  • The adoption of the Detroit Water Affordability Plan, which bases water rates on percentage of income.

“The protection of the waters and the people whose lives depend on it is our sacred responsibility,” said Aurora Harris of We the People of Detroit. “Water is the essence of all life. It is not for sale.” 

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