Apartheid in Detroit: Water for corporations, not people
June 18, 2014
Biill and Hillary Clinton were up to their ears in more than $10 million worth of legal debt at the end of Clinton’s tenure as president. Donald Trump was bailed out of four bankruptcies. But Detroit residents are having a basic human right – the access to water – cancelled for being late on bills of $150.
In the spring, Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr ordered water shutoffs for 150,000 Detroit residents late on their bills. Orr is an unelected bureaucrat accountable only to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr and several other “emergency managers” in largely poor, black communities like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, and Highland Park, to make all financial decisions on behalf of local elected governments.
Orr’s plan will shut off water for 1,500 to 3,000 Detroit residents each week. Neither Orr nor Homrich, the contracting company Orr hired to shut off residents’ water, answered calls for interview requests.
Detroit citizens have been protesting the decision on the basis that water is a human right that cannot be denied to families who need it for cooking, bathing and flushing toilets. Many residents facing water shutoffs are currently on monthly payment plans with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), paying upwards of $160 per month as water rates continue to rise, and were given no prior notice that their water was about to be cut off. Last week, the Detroit City Council held a public hearing to discuss a proposed 4 percent hike in water rates.
“The families I’ve talked to in my neighborhood and others around the city are confused about why they’re being hit (in this way),” community activist Russ Bellant told the Michigan Citizen. “Some knew they were behind, but thought they’d have time to pay it. These are people who mow the lawn on the vacant lots next door (to them).”
As the Michigan Citizen reported, residents with delinquent water bills are losing their water while prominent Detroit corporations with much larger delinquent water bills are being left alone. The Palmer Park Golf Club owes $200,000. Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owes DWSD $80,000. Ford Field owes $55,000. Kevyn Orr is arguing that the shutoffs are necessary to pay for the DWSD infrastructure – yet when Detroit raised $1 billion in bonds to pay for new infrastructure, $537 million of it went to banks like JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Morgan Stanley to pay off interest instead.
Community activists are placing blame on the structural, institutionalized poverty in Detroit that forces the people to foot the bill for corporate mismanagement. Detroit’s bankruptcy and urban blight is a direct result of the housing bubble that burst, putting over 60,000 homes in foreclosure and rendering thousands of families homeless.
Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans who is financing much of the gentrified development of downtown Detroit, has been particularly blamed for his company’s role in exacerbating the foreclosure crisis through its intimidation of homeowners, pressuring them into risky subprime lending schemes.
“Instead of going after the corporate institutions who owe millions, they’d rather turn off the water for poor people,” said Demeeko Williams, an organizer with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.
To fight back, Williams and other community activist groups like Moratorium NOW! and the Detroit After Party are teaming up to create theDetroit Water Brigade, a mutual aid effort aimed at providing residents with water and stopping water shutoffs with nonviolent direct action. The Detroit Water Brigade has set up a bridal registry on Amazon.com inviting those interested to help purchase necessary supplies like water coolers, cases of bottled water, heavy-duty contractor bags, and orange safety vests.
Some of the more radical direct actions being promoted by the Detroit Water Brigade include distributing flyers instructing people on how to turn their own water back on after it’s been shut off, and how to pre-emptively stop contractors from shutting water for their home. The flyer reads:
“Step 1: If your water is off, have the neighborhood water person or a friend (not you) obtain a water key and turn it back on 1st. (If you expect your water to be turned off, go to step 2.)
“Step 2: Purchase ready mix cement from the hardware [store].
“Step 3: Fill lockbox pipe 3/4ths full with dry cement mix.
“Step 4: Add water to top off. Don’t use rocks because rocks can be sucked out.”
The Detroit Water Brigade is also meeting regularly to train interested residents in nonviolent civil disobedience. Residents are planning to form human chains putting themselves between water lockboxes and contractors hired to shut off water. The water brigade is counting on Detroit’s understaffed police department to not have the resources to arrest and jail everyone participating in the water shutoff demonstrations.
In response to sustained protests from Detroit residents, the DWSD has removed the “Water Shut Off” decals from its trucks.
Sunny is a trans girl from Suadi Arabia who is studying in Arizona on a student visa. When her parents found out she was transgender they canceled the scholarship she was using to pay for school and housing. Being unable to pay, she has already been kicked out of the dorm she was living in and is…THIS IS MY FRIEND! PLEASE HELP! EVEN IF YOU CAN’T DONATE PLEASE REBLOG THIS! THANK YOU <3
Pass it on!!
As y’all know, I work with http://www.anjelliclecats.com/, a 501c3 cat rescue organization. We are in desperate need of fosters for the cats already in our systems, and for continued pulls off the kill list at Animal Control.
Please reblog this and ask any friends and family you may have in the area if they are interested in fostering.
- Fostering can be long or short term. If you are fostering cats from within our system, they can always be returned back to us if something doesn’t work out.
- Fostering is absolutely a possibility for people who already have pets. We can help you with introductions if you’ve never done it before.
- All medical expenses will be covered by ACR. It would be great if you could pay for food and litter because we do not have extensive funds, but if that’s not a possibility, we can help you out with that as well.
- We work around what you would like in a foster cat. There are dozens of cats in need and more coming in every day.
I can personally speak to you about fostering if you have any questions; if you think you’re ready to foster, you can fill out the very simple application on our website by clicking “Foster/Adoption Application” on the left-hand side. Feel free to leave me asks (‘queen’ on tumblr) or email me at email@example.com. You can list me, Talena Smith, as how you found out about ACR on the application.
PLEASE REBLOG EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN THE AREA.
Thank you for your support!
HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG! HELLO DOG!
The ad was in a women’s magazine and if I remember correctly, was for a perfume. It featured a white woman lying in bed with a black man. The man’s shirtless back was to the viewer, making only his taut, muscular form and powerful-looking arms and shoulders visible. He was faceless, unidentified. The woman looked sultrily at us from over his mysterious form, satisfaction writ large over her features. She had partaken of whatever delights this man had to offer and was smugly, luxuriantly basking in the afterglow.
The ad copy was, “Take a walk on the wild side.”
My teacher used the ad as an example of how marketers can use certain words and images to convey large amounts of information subtly and effectively. A white woman having sex with a black man? How risqué. The implication: be a little like that woman. Spray on that perfume and feel like the kind of girl who has sex with faceless, muscular black men in ritzy hotel rooms because it’s an adventure, a thrill, a risk, something illicitly pleasurable.
These are the semiotics of race. This is why columnists will trip over themselves not to call Lupita Nyong’o or Angela Basset “beautiful”, choosing instead to use terms that call to mind a kind of savage, animalistic magnetism: fierce, striking, edgy, eye-catching. Words like “pretty” and “beautiful” and “cute” are for white women whose bodies and sexualities are not seen as wild, animal, or untamed. Black men are hulking, threatening, thuggish; white men are charming, sexy heartthrobs with hearts of gold. Brown women are exotic, with their “honey-coloured” skin and their “mystical”, “enchanting” beauty, unlike their white counterparts, who are held up as not only ideal, but knowable and safe. White people are beautiful; non-white people are dangerous.
by Aaminah Khan (via Black Girl Dangerous)
Chris Trager’s important epiphany!
Do condoms scare you? I didn’t think so. Yet, they seem to scare the pants off of Twitter.
Lucky Bloke, where I am founder and CEO, has been inundated for months with emails from “Twitter for Business,” urging us to try out Twitter Ads and turn our followers into customers. However, after we tried to participate in the program with a “Tired of lousy condoms?” sponsored Tweet, Twitter banned us from advertising entirely.
According to their ad policies, condom ads are subject to the same restrictions as:
- Hate content and violence.
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia.
- Weapons and weapon accessories.
This is simply unacceptable. Will you join us by signing our petition to Twitter to change its policy around condom advertising? Join us as we #Tweet4Condoms!
Condoms save lives — and removing stigma will save more lives. This is not avant-garde or edgy positioning. Condoms are a necessary health item globally.
Our simple request for Twitter:
Kindly remove condoms from Twitter Ads content blacklist.
In the fight against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies, condoms are the first line of defense. If you restrict the distribution of condoms, you are restricting efforts to save lives.
Let’s acknowledge condoms for what they are: a necessary, safe, socially acceptable way for people to protect their health — and let’s encourage Twitter to show the world that they are utterly unafraid to challenge anyone who attempts to stigmatize or marginalize condom use.
A 16-year-old transgender girl in Connecticut has been incarcerated in an adult men’s prison for nearly a month — and she still hasn’t been charged or convicted of a single crime.
"Jane Doe"was living in a home for traumatized youth when authorities claim she attacked a staffer. But no criminal charges are even pending against her.
Instead, the teen has suffered in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT for weeks without treatment or educational training — and instead of letting her go, the Department of Correction wants to send her to a men’s prison where she’ll be at high risk of abuse and sexual assault!
Please, join us in calling on Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy to release “Jane Doe” from prison and return her to state custody, placing her in a juvenile facility with kids of her gender if the state still plans to press charges!
PETITION TO GOV. MALLOY: Release “Jane Doe” from prison and return her to state custody, placing her in a juvenile facility with kids of her gender if the state still plans to press charges
SIGN THIS NOW
WHAT ARE BIRDS
Hello yes! A Science Birb, here to explain the science!
Birb have VERY LARGE EYE in skull. Very good for seeing! But not space for muscle, birb cannot move eye. For mammal to make steady image, keep focus on single thing, always moving eye! Tiny movements, sometimes not even know. But birb cannot make tiny movements! So, birb must move whole head. And that is why the birb can keep steady the head when the body is amovering!
Thank you for listening to a science
That was the greatest scientific explanation I have ever read
BOOM. SCIENCE BIRBED.
My TV screwed up with the show titles like
how can you screw up this bad
I dont even know what its suppossed to say
THIS IS KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS
AH YES MY FAVORITE SHOW VERY JUMP THINGS
my personal favorite
look its my favorite super hero the chicken Spider-Man
how do you even screw up this badly????
like how even