Hundreds expected to protest water shutoffs Friday in downtown Detroit


Hundreds of people are expected to descend on downtown Detroit on Friday afternoon to protest the massive water shutoffs in Detroit after the United Nations admonished the city for potential human rights violations.

Protesters will assemble at Cobo Hall at 12:30 p.m. before marching to Hart Plaza for a rally.

During the rally, registered nurses plan to call for a “public health emergency” as the city continues to shut off water to delinquent residents.

The judge presiding over the city’s bankruptcy case also criticized the shutoffs, calling them “bad publicity” for the city and urged the water department to find ways to help residents pay bills.

On Wednesday, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr defended the shutoffs, saying assistance is available to those who call the water department.

“Let’s tamp down the verbiage and hysteria out there that we are cutting off water to tens of thousands of people,” Orr told the Detroit News. “That’s just not true.”

Demeeko Williams, an organizer with the grass-roots group Detroit Water Brigade, said Orr just doesn’t get it.

“Kevyn Orr is not understanding the situation of Detroit,” Williams told the News. “Detroit is in dire needs. What he’s doing is putting people at risk. Detroit is in a situation where we have been demoralized. We have been shamed. And now with this water shut-off situation, we’re being run out. It’s not that they don’t want to pay their bills. They don’t have the means.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Tammy Barbour

    When close to 10% of residents living in close proximity to each other, like an urban environment do not have clean water or sanitation, it poses health risk to 100% of the residents.

    • ryanguard

      Perhaps those residents could pool their money,have some wells dug and some outhouses built on the vacant lots and they could get all of the free water they wanted,all they would have to pay for is the electricity to power the pumps for the water or get the old fashioned hand pumps and it wouldn’t cost them anything but the cost to drill the wells!

  • Kathy Mayo

    Power to the people!! Bring humanity back to Detroit!

    • Dust Buster

      so all it takes is free water to stop the rapes and murders? if only steven utash stepped out of his truck with a nicely chilled case of aqua fina none of this would have happened?

  • bebow

    Running the unselected out of the neighborhoods is a central feature of the plan. Dave Bing lacked the discipline to control what cascaded over his lips, and so, the cat got out of the bag. The plan, called by any name, is still the plan. Detroit Works = Detroit Future City = Urban Renewal, etc. The only question left is who will be designated as unselected next. There will be a next wave of selections, and another, and another. Selected today, unselected tomorrow. Anyone who thinks he is an exception is very likely mistaken. The exceptions will be few, wealthy, and white.

  • Adam Rich

    Pay up for what you used or wasted, morons of detroit. RESPONSIBILITY. IS A REQUISITE FOR SELF GOVERNMENT. OBAMAWOBAMAWont bail you outof this. PAY UP. OR LOSE THE PRIVLEDGE. You all dont have negro privledge

  • Thanks for spreading word about the protest. However, I think there’s a typo in the number of active accounts. According to the DetNews article, it’s more like 170,000.

  • Billy Blake

    The Detroit water department collections division has been cutting off a lot of peoples water in my neighborhood. Ive watched them. And even a abandoned house across the street from me. I wonder how long the water has been running there. I would hate to see a person lose their house due to fire over a hundred and fifty dollar water bill.

    • sa ho

      so how much of their $150 water bill are you volunteering to pay?

      • Billy Blake

        About as much as you are

      • Dust Buster

        hey now rhetoric like that will get you labeled as a malcontent and a racist. i hear hank winchester now has 4 armed guards escorting everywhere sine that activist dressed him down on tv for saying much the same thing you said.

    • Adam Rich

      Pay up avoid shut off

      • Billy Blake


  • ryanguard

    If they don’t have the means to pay for their water bills then how do they pay for the gas,electric,phone,cable,food,car,insurance?Do those just magically get paid for or do they have people who can come around and turn back on their electricity,gas,cable if they get shut off?You can get by without a phone and a car and/or insurance but you still have to eat so i guess they can use a bridge card for that but it still leaves a bunch of unanswered questions!

    • Adam Rich

      Life choices. In the D.This is theresult of fifty years of federal and state hand outs.Morons of Detroit: you are reponsible to pay your share since you used the utility.White people are sick of paying for you and your lifestyle. Being a negro does not give you a free ride in life at our expense.