Coalition Of Water Protectors Call For Nestlé Boycott

Nestlé Pays $200 A Year To Bottle Water Near Flint – Where Water Is Undrinkable

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By Jessica Glenzain for The Guardian – While Flint battles a water crisis, just two hours away the beverage giant pumps almost 100,000 times what an average Michigan resident uses into plastic bottles. Gina Luster bathed her child in lukewarm bottled water, emptied bottle by bottle into the tub, for months. It became a game for her seven-year-old daughter. Pop the top off a bottle, and pour it into the tub. It takes about 30 minutes for a child to fill a tub this way. Pop the top, pour it in; pop the top, pour it in. Maybe less if you can get gallon jugs. Luster lives in Flint, Michigan, and here, residents believe tap water is good for one thing: to flush the toilet. “I don’t even water my plants with it,” she said. Flint became synonymous with lead-poisoned water after government officials, looking to save money, switched the city’s water supply from Detroit city water to water from the corrosive Flint river. Once the city had switched, the number of children with elevated lead exposure doubled; residents reported unexplained rashes and losing hair. An unpublished study recently found fetal deaths in Flint increased by 58% during the crisis.

Flint Mom-Turned-Activist Describes City’s Disturbing Declining Health

(Image: Health care costs via Shutterstock)

By Mnar Muhawesh for Mint Press News – MINNEAPOLIS — For almost three years, the residents of Flint, Michigan, have had poison running through their pipes. The city’s water supply has been tainted by lead and other dangerous pollutants since the city started drawing its water from the polluted Flint River in April of 2014 in an effort to cut costs in the economically depressed city. By January of 2015, city officials were ensuring their own supplies of clean bottled water. And the governor’s office was informed of the toxic water in February. But it wasn’t until October that year that residents were warned to stop consuming the city’s toxic water.

Activists: Charges In Flint Crisis Won’t Restore Faith In Government

Almost a year after President Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, the crisis continues to affect people there.	
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By Auditi Guha for Rewire – Karina Petri, founder of Project Flint, said grassroots organizations like hers are struggling to find a voice for residents who have given up, some of whom have gone back to using the tainted water because they no longer care about the health consequences. There’s a lot of blame to go around and still no clean water in Flint, Michigan, where four more officials were charged Tuesday for their failure to protect people from health hazards caused by contaminated drinking water, bringing the total charged this year to 13. The charges come as activists in Flint see despair setting in among residents who have lived through the public health nightmare.

Michigan Fights Order For Increased Water Delivery To Flint

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By Lucy Tiven for ATTN – The order, which was issued last Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Lawson, demanded the state deliver four cases of bottled water per person every week to Flint households that lack functional, properly installed water filters, and it went into effect immediately. Wednesday’s motion seeks a “stay” to prevent the order from going into effect, while attorneys for the state appeal the decision.

Federal Judge Orders Water Delivery To Flint Residents

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By Marsha Adebayo for Black Agenda Report – Lead kills brain cells, but it took a federal judge to order that households in Flint, Michigan, be delivered four cases of bottled water to prevent further damage to their health. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the mass poisoning “were rewarded with blanket immunity and protection by the State.” One wonders, “How different the reaction of the Obama administration would have been had ISIS claimed responsibility for poisoning Flint?”

As Flint Water Crisis “Emergency” Ends, Bigger Heads Need To Roll

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By Michele Oberholtzer for Occupy – This week, the emergency is officially over following the Flint Water Crisis. One year ago, the city of Flint, Mich., joined the ranks of Sandy Hook, Ferguson and other previously obscure cities that became a metaphor for man-made tragedy. In Flint the trauma came not at the barrel of a gun but through the faucet of a sink, as the infrastructure that was meant to provide life-sustaining water was made toxic through a negligent cost-cutting measure that altered water sources and treatment procedures.

Victory: Six More Charged In Flint Water Crisis

(Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

By John Wisely for Detroit Free Press – Six more state employees were charged with crimes today for their roles in the Flint Water Crisis because of negligence and arrogance, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. “Some people failed to act, others minimized harm done and arrogantly chose to ignore data, some intentionally altered figures … and covered up significant health risks,” he said at a news conference today. The result, Schuette said, “was water was poisoned.”

Newsletter: Making Protest Personal; Take It To Their Homes

BXE protest at Norman Bey home by Jimmy Betts

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Protests at homes of public officials and corporate CEOs is a common tactic used widely because it can be very effective. The response of Barrasso shows it is working and should continue. As Saul Alinsky, author or Rules for Radicals, pointed out “any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical.” Such protests have to be nonviolent and conducted in a way that does not inconvenience neighbors but educates them about why the protest is occurring. These tactics seek to personalize the issue, to make it less abstract than a federal agency. The campaign should keep their focus on the people responsible, not let up, continue to escalate and make the person isolated and unpopular. The goal is to maintain constant, escalating pressure so the official pays a heavy personal price for their actions.

Flint The Stage Is Set For Riots

Justin King in Ferguson.

By Justin King for TFC – Flint, Michigan (TFC) – The United States has seen more than its fair share of riots over the last couple of years. Many like to see riots as spontaneous events that are completely unpredictable; and some forms of riots are, such as those after sporting events. Most, however, are very predictable. Certain conditions need to be in place before an inciting event can trigger a riot. The reason the United States is seeing more and more riots is because the conditions are prevalent in more and more communities.

Whistleblower Fired For Exposing Flint Mayor’s Plan To Take Water Donations

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By Llowell Williams for Care 2 – Every time the Flint, Mich., water crisis seems to have finally hit rock bottom, a new development tosses that assumption out the window. A lawsuit filed this week claims Flint city administrator Natasha Henderson was fired by Mayor Karen Weaver unjustly, but why? According to Henderson’s lawyer, her dismissal came after becoming aware of allegations that Mayor Weaver had been instructing her staff to redirect donor funds to the mayor’s PAC — not the actual campaign aimed at helping Flint families.

Flint Chess Game: The Politics Of The Battlefield

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By Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo for Black Agenda Report – The game of chess is a complicated game employing zero sum, competitive Machiavellian strategies to protect key political or military principals. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king, and to protect the queen, the most powerful piece in the game, as long as possible. One fallen knight on the political chessboard of the Flint, Michigan water crisis is Susan Hedman, the EPA Regional 5 Administrator whose callous disregard for the health and safety of Flint citizens triggered her forced resignation although she has escaped any criminal liabilities.

Police Caught Monitoring Social Media For Criticism Of Flint Water Crisis

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By Claire Bernish for The Free Thought Project – After needlessly contaminating Flint’s water supply with lead, a new report reveals the government now monitors social media for hints subversive communications relating to the Flint Water Crisis. According to MLive, officials with the Michigan State Police have been conducting online surveillance for comments about Flint’s lead contamination crisis. One of over 127,000 emails released by Gov. Rick Snyder’s office shows one man’s allegedly threatening Facebook post concerning the government’s mishandling of the Flint crisis — which led to the initiation of criminal proceedings.

Flint Is About How We Treat The Poor

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By Leonard Pitts, Jr for the Miami Herald. To be white in America is to have been sold a bill of goods that there exists between you and people of color a gap of morality, behavior, intelligence and fundamental humanity. Forces of money and power have often used that perceived gap to con people like you into acting against their own self-interest. In the Civil War, white men too poor to own slaves died in grotesque numbers to protect the “right” of a few plutocrats to continue that despicable practice. In the Industrial Revolution, white workers agitating for a living wage were kept in line by the threat that their jobs would be given to “Negroes.” In the Depression, white families mired in poverty were mollified by signs reading “Whites Only.” You have to wonder what would happen if white people — particularly, those of modest means — ever saw that gap for the fiction it is?

BREAKING: Criminal Charges For 3 Over Flint Water Crisis Is “Only the Beginning”

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By Alexandra Jacobo for Nation of Change – The three being charged are Mike Glasgow, Flint’s laboratory and water quality supervisor; Michael Prysby, an employee with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; and Stephen Busch, former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Lansing district coordinator at the Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. Mike Glasgow is being charged with a felony count of tampering with evidence on account of him signing a document stating tested houses all had lead service lines when they did not.