Friday morning there was a massive protest in Detroit over the water crisis there. Netroots Nation attendees gathered together with National Nurses United to make a statement about how immoral and cruel the water shutoffs to poor people are.
There was at least one arrest.
Mark Ruffalo spoke at the rally.
Can we get a collective AMEN for this sentiment?
— OverpassLightBrigade (@OLBLightBrigade) July 19, 2014
Friday’s action was not the first anti-shutoff protest to take place over the last few weeks, but it was undoubtedly the largest. It was also the first rally to include supporters from around the nation, most of whom had turned out for the Netroots Nation conference being held in the city. Supporters from the conference, members of the national labor movement, politicians, clergy members, and even actor Mark Ruffalo, all walked from the convention center to Hart Plaza, along the Detroit River. Neither local police nor organizers have released estimates for the number of attendees, but the headcount was almost certainly in the low four digits.
“As of this moment, you have been deputized as formal citizens of the city of Detroit,” local community activist Monica Lewis-Patrick told the assembled Netroots Nation attendees near the beginning of the march. When she called, “Who are you?” to the audience, the yelled back, “I am Detroit!”
The union National Nurses United (NNU) was one of the national groups involved in organizing the rally. Nurses from the group told msnbc that the water shutoffs, which have thus far directly affected thousands of residents, present a direct threat to public health.
“Water is one of the most basic human needs that we all require,” said NNU official Bonnie Castillo. “And we know that it will result in a public health emergency. Not only for individual health, but community health, in terms of infectious diseases. Individuals can only live without water for a couple of days.”
This is America. No one should be without water, and certainly not to serve some 'larger' corporate interest.
Bravo, Netroots Nation, Detroit, and National Nurses United.