Statement on Court Denial of Detroit Human Right to Water

Image: Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes

MWRO’s statement on today’s decision by the federal bankruptcy court NOT to stop residential water shut-offs, restore water to residential customers without water, NOR implement a water affordability based on fixed incomes for low-income seniors, families with children and persons with disabilities:

Of course, we are not surprised that our capacity to seek relief from the Federal Courts no longer exists! The fact that low income customers were ushered into court and testified how miserable their lives were because water was cut-off without an option for them to make arrangements with the DWSD could not have impacted the Court because the Court concentrated on what the 1% needed to continue their reign of terror tied to the Emergency Manager and this bankruptcy ploy. 

This is the humanitarian crisis of our times here in America, where every step we take is being analyzed to see which fights we launch as the corporate class encroaches on our standard of living.

Denying specific populations access to clean drinking water was today deemed legal even though rich and wealthy water customers receive a different standard of treatment. Millions are owed by these corporate pirates while $150 and two months behind is the rule applied to our constituency — a position clearly supported by the Federal Court.

Orr and Sndyer
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Poor people, their children, seniors, the disabled, veterans — it doesn’t matter — if you can’t pay for water, you can’t have it. Go to the river with a bucket and get what you need still remains the sentiment by this draconian class and they have no shame in taking this position.  This sham court-case was just that…a plot to look like justice would prevail if we just had a chance to plead our case.  The answer was always going to be NO!!!

So what are we going to do…give up the fight for social justice?  We think not!

In the movie, The Untouchables, the question was asked, “What are you prepared to do about this??” When brilliant lawyers went to court to file suit against slavery, and against lynching, at first the Court said “NO”…there is no enforceable right to not be lynched if that is the custom in that area of the country!  The Court’s explained that with the laws on the books at that time, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, children, and other oppressed folks should be able to manage their lives and avoid pain and suffering, and if not, they had every right to return to Court! Madness and Madness today!
Our case demonstrated great attorneys, courageous plaintiffs, determined advocates versus conservative, corporate courts who prefer the company of the rich & famous and will not rock the “status quo.”  We march on…
Maureen D. Taylor

State Chairperson – MI Welfare Rights Org

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2 Comments on "Statement on Court Denial of Detroit Human Right to Water"

  1. They can not stop the water shut-off, but they can delay payments on moneys owed by the corporations.

    It is an extremely sad story no matter how you look at it. Hopefully with the financial committee overseeing Detroit after the bankruptcy, the city can regain some of its former prowess. (and give its citizens access to clean water)

  2. For what it's worth, those who have their water cut off have the same access to water as our masses of homeless poor since we ended welfare aid. I don't know what, if any, human rights standards we have in the US. We were one of the few modern countries that refused to ratify the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and no longer believe that food and shelter are human rights. I doubt we'd consider water services to be an actual, protected right, either.

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