In the largest U.S. water rate survey of its kind, Food & Water Watch today released a comprehensive review of the 500 largest U.S. community water systems that found that large, for-profit privately owned systems charge 58 percent morethan large publicly owned systems. An overwhelming majority of U.S. water customers—87 percent—receive their water from a publicly owned, not-for-profit service provider. The …
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– Michigan Governor Rick Synder has agreed to testify before a House committee investigating the poisoning of Flint, Michigan. The committee will also hear from Flint’s former emergency financial manager; the regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and, Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA. We spoke with Black Agenda Report editor Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, who blew the whistle on the EPA’s complicity in the poisoning of South African vanadium miners. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo said Michigan’s Governor and the rest of the officials should be asked the “Watergate question.”
– The assault against the people of Flint began with a crime against democracy, when Michigan’s governor appointed emergency financial managers to run all of the state’s heavily Black cities, effectively disenfranchising half of Michigan’s African American population. In Newark, New Jersey, the People’s Organization for Progress, POP, demonstrated in solidarity with the people of Flint. POP chairman Larry Hamm says the people of Flint need their clean water and their democratic rights restored.
– In May of this year, Janine, Debbie and Janet Africa will once again be eligible for parole, after serving 37 years in prison for allegedly killing a Philadelphia policeman. The three women are part of the Move 9. The other Move members face even more time in prison. The draconian sentences stem, not from the 1985 bombing of the Move house by Philadelphia police, but a 1978 confrontation in which a cop was fatally shot. Move spokesperson Ramona Africa recounts the events.
– Alicia Garza, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, has joined forces with advocates for Black women’s reproductive rights. Garza held a joint press conference with La’Tasha Mayes, founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Monica Simpson, director of the Trust Black Women Partnership. They denounced anti-abortionist forces for trying to co-op the language of the Black movement. Alicia Garza spoke first, followed by Ms. Mayes and Ms. Simpson.
Dirty Water, Dirty Politics: A Toxic Mix in Detroit and Flint, Mich.
The alarm Leid Stories sounded in August 2014 about a “water crisis and massive public-health catastrophe” in Detroit and Flint, Mich., is only now getting national attention—now that it isn’t just a “black” problem. In Detroit, still reeling from severe austerity measures imposed after the city’s forced 2013 bankruptcy, water shutoffs continue unabated for thousands of homeowners too poor to pay; about 80,000 are behind in their water bills. In Flint, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to lead-poisoned and bacteria-infected water after the cash-strapped city, now under emergency management, switched its water supply from Detroit and instead was drawing its water from the extremely polluted Flint River.
Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, broke the Flint story. He return to Leid Stories to provide a comprehensive update. Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party and editor in chief of the Pan-African Newswire, is Leid Stories’ correspondent on Detroit’s forced bankruptcy and its aftermath; he reports on the city’s continuing water crisis.
Workers across the United States are bracing for a major Supreme Court case, set for argument on Monday, that could strike a devastating blow to public sector unions nationwide. Backed by right-wing anti-union groups including the Center for Individual Rights, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association seeks to overturn the legal framework under which public sector unions require workers who benefit …
Fiat Chrysler Workers in Detroit Reject Contract; Strike Ahead?
Obama Goes Professorial, but Gets Read, at 70th U.N. General Assembly
A four-year tentative contract negotiated between the auto workers union and Fiat Chrysler appears headed for recall. More than 40,000 members of the United Automobile Workers currently are voting on whether to ratify the contract, but so far the UAW’s largest locals have voted against the deal.
Greg Gardner, labor reporter for the Detroit Free Press, explains why workers are against the contract and whether their thumbs-down on it is a harbinger of contract negotiations with Ford and General Motors. The Big 3 auto manufacturers employ about 141,000 workers.
At the opening of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, President Barack Obama was in full professorial mode, lecturing world leaders about international affairs. Several of them conducted teach-ins of their own that corrected the teacher’s syllabus.
The recent number of articles in the popular press concerning loss of intellect among children exposed to chlorpyrifos is important in the use of this pesticide. Although in-home use of chlorpyrifos was restricted in the U. S in 2000, it is widely used in agriculture, and is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in …