In Detroit, Michigan, at least eight people were arrested Thursday in an act of civil disobedience to stop the city’s shutoff of water to thousands of households. The group of clergy members and other residents blocked the entrance of a private corporation hired by Detroit to cut off the taps of residents who have fallen behind on their water bills by as little as two months. A U.N. panel has called the shutoffs a “violation of the human right to water.” Demeeko Williams, coordinator of the Detroit Water Brigade, spoke to the Detroit Free Press at Thursday’s protest.
Demeeko Williams: “We are out here today stopping the trucks from shutting off people’s water. We are out here today to make a statement that the shutoffs must end, and we are also making a commitment to fight for Detroit.”
One of the activists at the forefront of fighting the water shutoffs in Detroit was Charity Hicks, an environmental and food justice organizer. In May, Hicks was left in a coma after being struck by a car in New York City. She died on Tuesday.