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End Racism and Discrimination

End Racism and Discrimination (72)

A drought has forced Californians to ask themselves how much water their lawns and gardens truly need.

A money shortage has Baltimore and Detroit pondering a different water question: whether the poor are entitled to any at all.

A couple of dozen protesters rallied outside City Hall on Monday to call on officials to reverse a decision to begin turning off service for water customers who are behind on their bills. Sharon Black, a Waverly woman who helped organize the protest, called on the city to delay any water shut-offs. The protesters want the City Council to investigate the reasons why the delinquent water customers are late in paying.

At the end of March, Baltimore city officials announced that they would be turning off the water supply to a huge number of properties in the city and surrounding county in the coming weeks. In total, the city department of public works plans to turn off water to 25,000 properties for $40 million in unpaid bills.

Starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings.

Last week, in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club at Cobo Center, former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr told an audience of business and government elites: “Some of [the water crisis] was orchestrated. We know that the Occupy Wall Street folks are the folks behind Detroit Water Brigade.”

A simmering water war is about to come to a boil over the fate of historic, well-loved public reservoirs in Portland, Oregon. At the heart of the controversy is a breakdown in public trust that reflects the dangers of corporate-led water privatization schemes in the United States and around the world.

"Here, Whirlpool controls not only Benton Harbor and the residents, but also the court system itself. They will do anything to crush you if you stand up to them. That's why it's so important to fight this. I'm going to fight them until the end. This is not just an attack on Rev. Pinkney. It's an attack on every single person that lives in Benton Harbor, in the state and around the country." - Rev. Edward Pinkney

The fight in Benton Harbor is a war, it’s not a conflict. It’s a war over whether America will have prosperity and democracy, or live in poverty under the heel of open corporate rule. - Rev. Edward Pinkney

Rev. Edward Pinkney, the 66-year-old community activist who has battled for decades on behalf of the mostly Black population of Benton Harbor, Michigan, was this week convicted on five counts of forging the dates of some signatures on a petition to recall the town’s mayor. The Berrien County jury was all-white. So was the judge and the prosecutor.

In the new Detroit, a small number of wealthy residents are protected by private security and constant surveillance while the city’s black majority struggles to maintain access to water.

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