An entire town of 110,000 people has been poisoned for two years. The government knew about it the entire time but refuses to do anything to help the people. How can this happen? After all, the vast majority of people are not in favor of children and others being willfully poisoned with lead by their government. People must have water free from harmful toxins—this is universally recognized as a basic human right.
The people's grassroots response to the crime against humanity in Flint has been clear and powerful. Millions upon millions of bottles of water have been delivered to Flint from people all across country. This last weekend 300 union plumbers installed faucets and filters for free all over Flint. Our campaign salutes all those who are reaching out the hand of solidarity to the people of Flint.
But water bottles, filters and faucets are not enough. In truth, Flint, along with thousands of other cities and neighborhoods, disproportionately Black, Brown and poor, is being strangled by capitalist austerity. Flint, more than 50 percent Black, where the median income is barely above the poverty level, was being destroyed long before the people were poisoned. As a result, Flint will need billions and billions of dollars in outside assistance to solve all of its health, social and economic problems.
What makes the lead poisoning of 110,000 people in Flint, including 9,000 children, even more criminal is that fact that Flint is a 45 minute drive away from Lake Huron. Lake Huron is part of the Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh water on the planet! Thousands of children have been disabled by lead poisoning for absolutely no valid reason.
Michigan governor Rick Snyder, who signed the laws, appointed all the officials and oversaw all the basic decisions that led to the poisoning of the people of Flint, should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity. While Snyder needs to be held accountable, this crime is not simply to product of one person’s malfeasance. We say the whole system is guilty:the system of capitalism that puts profits before the people.
Two years ago, the Michigan state-appointed emergency manager for Flint, who has dictatorial powers over city government, unhooked the residents of Flint from the Great Lakes in an effort to “save money.” When residents started to complain about the tainted water, entire sections of the government, from local to federal officials, went into action to cover up and defend their crime.
In April of 2014, the General Motors plant in Flint complained about the water. Governor Rick Snyder hooked GM back up to Lake Huron at the cost of a half a million dollars. GM is the only Flint address with Lake Huron water!
In January 2015, the state started delivering bottled water to government employees in Flint while it was actively covering up the high levels of lead in the drinking water.
Without the slightest doubt, we know that Governor Snyder, water companies that profit off such a basic human need, EPA officials, General Motors and many more are guilty of Flint's ruination. They callously damaged the brains of thousands of children and so much more. Justice demands that they pay for their crimes and we must fight to see that every single person responsible in any way is indicted and convicted. People like Gov. Snyder who use their position to starve and harm the poor and workers must not be allowed to walk freely among us.
Capitalism is a rotten, racist system where the rich and their politicians victimize, poison and kill with impunity. Flint makes this clear as day. The murder of Flint must not go unpunished. For justice to be truly served, we must bring a final end to capitalism and build a system where people’s needs come before profit.