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10 arrested blocking trucks sent to shut off water services in Detroit

July 10, 2014

Tens of thousands impacted by emergency management, banks

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Detroit activists concerned about the massive water shutoffs across the economically devastated city blocked entrances into the yard of Homrich, a firm given a nearly $6 million contract to terminate services for hundreds of thousands of people. The firm was hired by emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who was appointed by right-wing Gov. Rick Snyder in March 2013, who later forced the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history a year ago.

Detroit activists concerned about the massive water shutoffs across the economically devastated city blocked entrances into the yard of Homrich, a firm given a nearly $6 million contract to terminate services for hundreds of thousands of people. – Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire

Detroit activists concerned about the massive water shutoffs across the economically devastated city blocked entrances into the yard of Homrich, a firm given a nearly $6 million contract to terminate services for hundreds of thousands of people. – Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire

A picket line set up before 7:00 a.m. on July 10 blocked the entrance to Homrich for over an hour. Eventually police arrived and attempted to force demonstrators out of the driveway, prompting resistance leading to 10 arrests.

Protesters were taken into custody and charged with disturbing the peace. A hearing was set for July 21.

Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit said that he would gladly get arrested again in order to further the cause of stopping the shut-offs. Also arrested was Elena Herrada, a member of the Detroit Board of Education in exile and a candidate for Michigan state representative.

The actions are part of a citywide effort to declare a moratorium on water shut-offs. The ninth week of Freedom Friday protests is scheduled for July 11.

On July 15 hundreds will gather outside the federal courthouse in conjunction with a bankruptcy hearing, where at least 60 people will present legal objections to the so-called “plan of adjustment.” The plan, if approved, would implement huge cuts in retirees’ pensions and further disempower and expropriate Detroit residents of city assets and municipal governance rights.

This protester, David Sole of Moratorium Now, is a retired DWSD employee. – Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire

This protester, David Sole of Moratorium Now, is a retired DWSD employee. – Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire

Already Belle Isle, the Detroit Public Lighting, Detroit Public Works, Human Services and the city Health Department have been taken over and privatized. Tens of thousands of retirees have had their healthcare programs cancelled and are also facing substantial cuts to pension benefits.

There is currently an effort to privatize the management of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). The water department was struck hard when $530 million was taken out of the system in 2012 to terminate yet another fraudulent interest-rate swap deal controlled by JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and other banks.

The July 18 Freedom Friday will be held in conjunction with the Net Roots Nation conference taking place in Detroit, where thousands attending the event are being encouraged to come out into the streets and join protests against emergency management, the banks and forced privatization of the city.

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, where this story first appeared, can be reached at panafnewswire@gmail.com. Pan-African News Wire, the world’s only international daily pan-African news source, is designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world.

Water, WMD in Detroit

by Raymond Nat Turner

“We have evidence that chemical weapons have been used.” – Some blonde bimbo liar of the State Department

July’s nasty temper, its hot, humid
Attitude seems responsible for the
Dry, sticky mouths, too little saliva
Of thirsty seniors at the senior center –
No urine for eight hours, or dark and
Amber, in trickles, if it shows at all …

Severely dehydrated baby

Superfast heart rate of the mocha
Brown baby, listless, lethargic, sunken
Eyes and too few tears …
The fatigued, irritable infant’s dry, cool
Skin, sunken soft spot on the top of his
Head suggests dehydration has set in …

Now, water’s essential for health and life
They’re using it like a machine gun or knife –
Is it Asad, or Qaddafi, or Boko Haram?
Or is it Al Qaeda, ISIS, or is it Sadam?
Rich terrorists taking vital chemicals away
For these parasites their profits hold sway
Not the dangers of dehydration in Detroit
That these capitalist bloodsuckers exploit
Looting those without bread, without dough
By robbing them of the chemical H2O!

It’s a damn shame, profiteers’ profanity
War crime, effen crime against humanity
Chemical warfare serving privatization
Yeah, a straight up human rights violation
The exploiters using water as a WMD
A common from nature that must be free!
A common from nature that must be free!
A common from nature that must be free!

Raymond Nat Turner © 2014 All Rights Reserved can be reached at upsurgejazz@gmail.com.

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