Tuesday, April 4, 2017

City of FLINT to Residents: Sorry we poisoned you - NOW SHUT UP AND PAY UP!!


A full year after Flint, Michigan, made headlines for contaminated drinking water that poisoned the city’s poorest of residents, the city government is now demanding that its citizens pay for their water services—the very same water that poisoned them in the first place. Back in June, Gov. Rick Snyder told residents that city water was safe to drink with a filter. Of course, this was eight months after finally acknowledging there was a problem—which everyone from the EPA to the international press knew by then. But after the city and state decided to make the Flint River the city’s water source which resulted in thousands of children with lead exposure and an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that killed at least 12 people since 2014, people just don’t have faith in the government anymore. Imagine that? But trust aside, the unmitigated gall of anyone to ask these victims of neglect, corruption and greed for money to pay for their water is truly astounding!
The warning letters arrived in Flint mailboxes in early March. Their demand, of almost unfathomable audacity, is delivered in red capital letters, underlined for emphasis: pay for your poison or else.
Snyder’s government, which was largely responsible for the water disaster, announced in February that it would stop giving Flint residents subsidies for their water. Mayor Karen Weaver then decided to resume the practice of shutting off the water for people with unpaid bills.
Meanwhile, residents know that no matter how much the government claims to have fixed the pipes or have restored the lead levels, things will never be back to normal (if there ever was such a thing). That’s the reason why they still head to different sites around the city in order to obtain free cases of drinking water.
And while lead levels have fallen below the federal danger threshold, residents know now that no amount of lead is truly safe, they know the city’s work on its pipes poses new contamination risks, and they say the water is still foul-smelling and still making them sick. So they show up at the Eastown Bowl and Flint’s eight other drive-thru distribution sites six days a week, forming water lines rarely seen outside the world’s poorest and most parched nations.
Some of them won’t even do that. Occupational therapist Audrey Muhammad buys her own bottled water, and only in the suburbs. She is suspicious of anything run by the state and city authorities.
And some local activists outright refuse to pay their bills after all the nightmarish experience this has been. Can you blame them?
Thousands of residents have been refusing to pay for a year or more. Some say they will continue the protest even though parents without running water are regularly investigated by child protection authorities.
“I’m not going to give them one penny,” said Nakiya Wakes, 41, a stay-at-home-mom-turned-activist who owes $822.62. She had two miscarriages before the authorities warned pregnant women not to drink Flint water, and she believes the lead is also responsible for the worsening behavior of her 8-year-old son, who has been suspended from school dozens of times.
While the state attorney has charged 13 people in connection with the decision to switch the water from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money, no one has been convicted or jailed of these crimes. And all this while Gov. Snyder, who has not been charged, he has managed to spend over $3.5 million of taxpayer money on criminal defense attorneys for himself. Meanwhile, the people of Flint continue to have bad pipes, rotten water and an even more rotten city governme

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