Rep. Conyers To Water Department: 'Keep Your Paws Off The Water'
"We're going to fight like the devil."
| Caleb Howe |
The bankrupt city of Detroit has a water problem. The city is trying to collect over $90 million dollars in unpaid water bills. As part of that effort, thousands of residents have had their service cut off. On Friday, in conjunction with the Netroots Nation conference, a rally and march were held to protest the service interruptions and demand the water be turned back on regardless of any money owed. Congressman John Conyers spoke to the crowd at the march, demanding that corporations pay up what they owe so that residents who owe can have their bills covered.
"We're gonna fight like the devil to make sure that nobody's water is cut off. Nobody's. So it's in that spirit that we want to thank SEIU and the unions, and everybody that's working with them. We're all in this together.
And our message to the head of the sewage, the water and sewage department: keep your paws off the water! Leave it on. We need more water, not less water. And by the way, while you're at it. Why don't you get these corporations and banks to pay up the hundreds of thousands of dollars they owe?"
It was not immediately clear how water would be provided to the city if the Water Department took their "paws" off the process.
Conyers concludes that "water is a human right", a refrain that had been repeated many times throughout the march and rally. Protesters and activists, including Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo, are advocating for what they call the "Robin Hood Tax", wherein corporations and banks would be taxed extra in order to pay for water service in the city.
Earlier this week, Rep. Conyers stated that he and the activists "want assurances that households won’t have their water cut off because they cannot afford to pay it, because water is a human right." He also confusingly added that this appeal is not "for them to get free water," saying "I think everyone that gets water should get a bill and should be held accountable for it."
There was one small irony as the march, including Truth Revolt's correspondent, progressed through the streets of Detroit on that July afternoon. There was no free water for the participants.http://www.truthrevolt.org//news/rep-conyers-protest-get-your-paws-water