Everything is Fine: Nobody is Happy

Action Points for Reclaiming Water as a Commons in Detroit, Flint, and Beyond

Reclaiming Water as a Commons in Detroit, Flint, and Beyond: A panel at the EcoJustice and Activism Conference, Saturday, March 19, 2016

The panel was primarily some hardcore women, majority women of color. Michigan water warriors are tasked with protecting the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water, which makes it particularly attractive to bottling and fracking assholes, and so Michigan warriors could really use some help from the entire world.

Action points that arose from the panel:

–          Self-determination: deputize yourself

–          Health, education, long-term planning for flint

–          Repeal PA 436

–          Respond to articles in the corporate media

–          Water affordability: income-based, no shutoffs

–          Art and music connecting the dots – from small to big

–          Periscope

–          Fight water commodification – fight bottled water, fight Violia, et al.

–          Fight “assistance” narratives

–          Grassroots – stay connected: fight division and alienation

–          Direct action – creative resistance

–          Mobilize campuses

–          Listen to lived experience, follow the leadership of those most-directly affected.

–          Organize a “Water party” – with short bits about communal efforts

–          Fight against the criminalization of shut-off resistance

–          Legislate, litigate, agitate

–          Nurturing youth leadership and organizing

–          Continue to emphasize the white supremacist tool that is emergency management and its aftermath – disempowers folks in predominantly Black communities, and does not create programs for re-empowerment.

–          Boycott Michigan

–          POWPU – filtration system, enough for 750,000 people

–          Use the resources of the national guard (water buffalos and large canisters)

–          Pontiac is offering water, but it needs to be transported

–          Boycott Nestle

–          Boycott and disrupt the banks benefiting from emergency management and privatization

–          Be conscious of one’s own water use

–          Picket the Tigers Stadium

–          Picket houses of those who need to be held accountable

–          Continue to support Flint canvassing

Panelists: Antonio Cosme, Julia Cuneo, Bishop Bernadelle Jefferson, Melissa Mays, Sylvia Orduño, Kim Redigan, and Bill Wiley-Kellerman

ONLINE RESOURCES:

Detroit Websites

Flint Websites