A lefty look at Detroit's water tug-of-war


  • Photo courtesy Valerie Jean

The lefty mag In These Times has a piece from Lauren Gaynor on the water situation in Detroit. Choice quotes:

Activist Valerie Jean Blakely: City officials “are selling this narrative that Detroiters are sitting in their homes with big screen TVs and refusing to pay their water bills. This is just not true. I can tell you that these people are living in complete poverty.”

• Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing: “Every effort should be made by all levels of government to ensure that the most vulnerable are not evicted from or lose their housing as a result of water shutoffs or water bill arrears.”

 "Detroit businesses such as the Chrysler Group collectively owe more than $20 million in back payments to the water department, but their taps have not been turned off. And Detroit’s Marathon Refinery received $175 million in tax breaks from the city for an expansion of its operations, including the water-intensive process of refining Canadian tar sands oil."

Read the full piece here.