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Against Austerity in Detroit: "Water Is a Human Right"

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Cross-posted at The Nation

From youtube.com/watch?v=zj5dD06Iy9U: Water is a Human Right
Water is a Human Right
(image by YouTube)
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Water is a human right.

The United Nations formally "recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights."

A new European Citizens Initiative declares, "Water is a public good, not a commodity."

Former President Jimmy Carter writes, "Clean water is a basic human right. Without it, the other rights may not even matter. Human societies cannot be healthy, prosperous and just without adequate supplies of clean water. What could be a more basic right than clean water?"

So why are children in Detroit marching through that battered city's downtown with signs reminding officials that "Kids Need Water to be Healthy" and "Kids Without Water Can't Brush Their Teeth"?

Why are religious leaders being arrested when they seek to prevent the shutoff of water services to families who cannot afford to pay bloated bills?

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The answer is that, thanks to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit is again providing a stark example of what happens when right-wing officials implement an unthinking and inhumane austerity agenda. Since Snyder imposed "emergency manager" control on Detroit last year -- effectively disempowering local elected officials and putting the governor and his appointees in charge -- the city's residents have faced plenty of threats from unelected "managers" who are determined to balance the books of a financially strapped city on the backs of its hardest-hit residents.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)
 

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John, thanks so much for this article and for sugg... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 2:44:41 AM
Want to see what your govt has in store for you?... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 11:19:42 AM
Isn't stripping life's necessities a form of genoc... by Dennis Kaiser on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 1:35:06 PM
If you listen to arrogant Americans, the US is the... by Archie on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 4:01:31 PM
"The Detroit officials who have ordered the shutof... by Samuel Vargo on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 8:33:28 PM
Typically, turning off utilities is a good way to ... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 6:19:32 AM