Group to highlight privatization of public services and riverfront land as Water Department shutoffs set to resume.
“People can go down to the river and pick up a bucket of water. That’s your right.”
—Sheila Cockrel, Former Detroit City Councilwoman
DETROIT, MI—(ENEWSPF)—August 21, 2014. The Detroit Water Brigade will gather on the Detroit Riverfront on August 22nd, this Friday at 5pm in front of the International Underground Railroad Memorial statue in order to fetch public water from the Detroit river.
“Water is a public commons that belongs to all of us,” said Detroit Water Brigade Spokeswoman and Creative Director AtPeace Makita. “People need water to live, and Detroit is surrounded by it: 21% of the world’s surface freshwater sits in the Great Lakes. We are going to the river to remind ourselves where our water comes from.”
The Detroit Riverwalk is technically private property owned by Riverfront Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of General Motors, Inc., and managed by the Detroit Riverwalk Conservancy, a 501(c)3 non-profit. All organized events must be approved “between January 1 and November 1 the year before the event will be held”, and must be insured, have sponsors approved beforehand, and be catered exclusively by RiverWalk Cafe/Diamond Hospitality. The Brigade will have legal observers on hand to ensure that our right to informally fetch water from the river is upheld.
“On the eve of the city’s plan to resume their unconstitutional and inhumane water shutoff program, we are meeting at the river to uphold the human right to access to water and sanitation,” said DeMeeko Williams, Detroit Water Brigade Political Director.
The temporary moratorium on water shutoffs ends August 25th, after which nearly 40% of Detroiters will be subject to shutoff for delinquency on their water bills. The Brigade has submitted a plan to end the shutoffs by implementing an income-based Water Affordability Plan.
The Detroit Water Brigade is a volunteer-led alliance of compassionate citizens of Detroit and their international allies working to bring emergency relief to families facing water shut offs while advocating for an income-based Water Affordability Plan in Detroit.