Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cutting Off Water Is Murder

The only reason we are not paying by the minute for the air we breathe is because corporations haven't figured out how to corner the supply.


Think Progress:

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.


One key piece of the activists’ complaint has to do with allegedly disparate treatment of residential and commercial clients by the DWSD. The People’s Water Board claims that delinquent business entities “have not been targeted in the same way as residential users,” a claim the department strongly disputes.
You will be stunned to learn that this is really all about turning a public service - and one that is literally life and death - over to private corporations for their profit. Companies all over the world are slavering over Detroit's municipal corpse, sharpening their claws to fight for the most lucrative pieces.
I will never understand how anyone can think our austerity-starved government presents any kind of threat when we are losing everything we have to monster corporations every day.

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