As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department moves to shut off water to thousands of residents who are delinquent on their bills, a coalition of activists is appealing to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Their report, filed Wednesday with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, alleges that the DWSD crackdown is part of an effort “to sweeten the pot for a private investor” to take over the city’s heavily-indebted water and sewer system as part of Detroit’s broader bankruptcy proceedings.

One of the activist groups behind the report, the Detroit People’s Water Board, notes that city residents have seen water rates more than double over the past decade at the same time that the city’s poverty rate rose to nearly 40 percent, putting the cost of basic running water beyond reach for tens of thousands of households. Earlier this week, city lawmakers voted to raise water rates by a further 8.7 percent.

Continue reading:  http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/06/20/3451488/detroit-water-shutoffs-complaint/

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  Ethnic cleansing?

9 thoughts on “Detroit Shuts Off Water To Thousands Of Broke Residents

  1. This is so inhumane – it reminds me of Bechtel in Bolivia – a clear indication that money is more important to the powers that be than human life.


  2. We need to be more concerned about the poor. For some reason, talking about the needs of the poor and action to reduce poverty has become ‘that which must not be mentioned.’ A terrible state of affairs bound to enhance social fractures and instability in this country.


  3. A very sad commentary on the spiritual bankruptcy of America when a once thriving city and state – located on/surrounded by the Great Lakes – has reached a status where its residents are without water: a human necessity.


    • It’s even sadder when the Republican-controlled state government colludes with powerful business interests to root-out the city’s “undesirable” residents using these kinds of tactics. If this was happening in a foreign country, Americans would call it “ethnic cleansing.” But since it is happening on our soil, and by our hands, Americans prefer to call it “unfortunate.” I don’t see the difference.


  4. This is shocking! I can’t believe what I am reading. Clean running water should be a basic human right. It’s is difficult to imagine a country such as the USA cutting off the water supply to some of its citizens. Water is a vital resource and should be freely available. Here in the UK all our water is privatised but as far as I am aware cutting off anyone who does not pay their bill would be illegal, but who knows so many things have changed and mostly not for the betterment of society, other than for the rich and powerful. We also have our shockingly outrageous behaviours in recent years in the form of welfare reforms which have left many sick, disabled and unemployed people without any income at all and severe cut backs to the incomes of many benefits claimants. It seems to me that in many ways the so called developed countries here in the west are going backwards to darker times and the progress of the previous decades is being destroyed. It is shocking enough that people die in Africa for want of clean water, any water, but to deliberately cut off an existing water supply to people simply because cannot pay their bills is inexcusable

    I really hope that some sense of decency prevails and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department does not get the go ahead to cut the water supply off.


    • “It seems to me that in many ways the so called developed countries here in the west are going backwards to darker times and the progress of the previous decades is being destroyed.”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.


  5. Pingback: Water cut off to thousands of people in Detroit | Rantings From a Virtual Soapbox

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