Michigan ACLU’s ‘Here’s to Flint’ Documentary

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism had asked that this documentary be broadcast widely.

“The ACLU of Michigan just released a must-see short documentary on the Flint water crisis. It’s important that this not be forgotten even as the scandal has died down and eyes are moving off Michigan now that the Democratic debate and state primary have passed.

This piece is powerful because it’s told by the local citizens who were abused (and this is not an overstatement) by emergency managers who were instructed to prioritize making bond payments. Even though readers may know many of the elements of this story from the extensive media coverage, it has a completely different impact not simply seeing it put together in one place, chronologically as it unfolded, but witnessing the appalling record of official efforts to deny that there was a problem (including deliberately constructing completely unrepresentative tests) and repeatedly telling flat out lies. It’s also not hard to discern that the emergency managers, their allies, and the state government held the Flint citizens in utter contempt. The class/race bias and condescension are palpable.

The documentary is also a testament to the persistence of the efforts of Flint citizens in mustering allies (such as the ACLU as well as the environmental engineers at Virginia Tech) to develop rock-solid evidence of the contamination of the water and publicize the developing public health crisis. The fact that the city’s overlords and state officials thought they could get away with what amounts to poisoning of a population this large is another symptom of elite insularity.

Again, this is a relatively short video given the ground that it covers. I hope you’ll view it and circulate widely.”

Forty-five minutes may be relatively short to some, but not to me.  Democracy Now! has the transcript, although it’s a bit choppy to read.

From the Guardian: US authorities distorting tests to downplay lead content of water’; Exclusive: Documents seen by the Guardian reveal questionable practices that mean people’s drinking water is at risk in ‘every major city east of the Mississippi’ (not hard-hitting journalism, imo.)

Also from the Guardian: ‘Alarm over lead found in drinking water at US schools’; In the wake of the Flint water crisis several schools have shut off their drinking water due to high levels of lead, raising the question: ‘How big is this issue?’

(O/T) ‘Can you solve it? The Pi Day puzzle that will spin you in circles’

Sputniknews.com: Many US communities have toxic drinking water, much like in Flint, Michigan, and Navajo water supplies are more poisoned even than Flint, and have been for decades, according to Brenda Norrell, a reporter in Indian country’.

“Across vast swaths of American Southwest, residents of the Navajo Nation have been plagued by water contamination for years; most recently from an accidental Environmental Protection Agency spill at the Gold King mine in Colorado last year, but before that the community suffered from the toxic aftermath of uranium mining that fueled the nuclear arms race in the 1950s.”, via attn.com

Erin Brockovich talks to reporters at the Hogback Diversion #GoldKingMine #NavajoNation



9 responses to “Michigan ACLU’s ‘Here’s to Flint’ Documentary

  1. we are all, we USAeans, like we world already, are all about to hit this water issue. these places being flooded, LA/TX today, are saturated w/chemicals, petroleum stuff, innumerable waste sites…in the very short term, it all washes down the Ole Miss and insurance pays for some strip malls to reopen.

    Uranium on native lands…it hurt me the 1st time i heard about this, now moons ago. red man can’t get a break. eurotrash all want to kill each other, who can blame them? but why does their latest, greatest weapon have to be on the native’s land?

  2. OT: Chicago: Anita Alvarez is out and has conceded in the primary election.
    Cleveland: McGinty, the prosecutor in the Tamir Rice case is losing.

    Hope their successors are better.

    • woot! marym just brought the news on the gynnya mcmillen post. yes, hope the others are better, indeed. clearing 68 killer cops: foxx can’t do worse, yes?

      good job,assata’sDaughters, black youth 100 and all sentient beings in chi-town!

  3. my stars; ‘Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty concedes defeat to Michael O’Malley in Democratic primary’

    no R is on the ballot.

    “U.S. Attorneys have declined 96 percent of civil rights cases involving a law enforcement officer since 1995. By rolling your cursor over each state you can see how each of the 94 U.S. Attorney districts performed.

    Federal prosecutors declined to pursue civil rights allegations against law enforcement officers 96 percent of the time since 1995, a Tribune-Review investigation found.

    The Trib spent six months analyzing nearly 3 million federal records on how the Justice Department and its 94 U.S. Attorney offices handled criminal complaints against law enforcement officers from 1995 through 2015. The records include matters referred to Justice by the FBI and other agencies and those it opened on its own.

    For all other crimes, prosecutors rejected only about 23 percent of complaints.” triblive.com

  4. The Triblive article shows the extent to which in turning courts into institutions scored by numbers of convictions (conviction mills), the primary process of justice, establishing the facts, has disappeared and the courts put their finger on the scales of justice.

    Furthermore, because racism is the default position of US society, the change that could come through the courts now can never happen.

    Is Bob McCulloch of St. Louis County unopposed as usual this year? And then there’s that viper’s nest in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, two causes to to cheer this morning.

    • i like your synopsis well, thank you. wiki indicates four year terms for baltimore county prosecutor, so he might have to run unopposed in 2018, if i’m reading right. lacey’s LA county, she seems to be running, though.

      still, a good morning.

  5. http://chicagoist.com/2016/03/16/the_organizers_who_ousted_anita_alv.php
    How they feel about Kim Foxx
    Assata’s Daughters doesn’t endorse her, and never did. ‘We weren’t working with a political candidate,” Raser said. “Our goal was getting Anita Alvarez out of office.”

    She continued, “We aren’t on team Kim. We’re on team ‘for our people.’ No prosecuting attorney is ever going to be that team.”
    Still, she hopes that Foxx can provide “harm reduction,” offering police less impunity and administering less harsh sentences to people of color than Alvarez. Not that her hopes are high.“We’ll be holding her accountable in the same ways as Anita Alvarez. We’re not asleep now that we got Anita Alvarez out of office.”

    • i/we appreciate knowing that’s their position, marym. watch-dogging foxx will be quite a task, given that it’s hard to know how many cases are pending in chicago, including killer kop, deaths, rapes, and beat-downs in custody, homan square crimes (there must be plent pending, yes?), and so forth.

      mcginty lost in (either) cleveland or cuyahoga county, and that’s a good thing.

      #byeByeAnita, nonetheless.

      ha; foxx grew up in cabrini green, once thought the answer to…low income housing, oy. she seems to have an R challenger: Christopher Pfannkuche.

      “Foxx has set out a series of goals if she wins in November: diverting more people accused of low-level drug crimes into treatment rather than court, toughening penalties for those who commit gun crimes, stopping the arrest of kids for fighting at school, and spending more money on reversing wrongful convictions.” (beats me)

  6. via telesur: ‘US: 2,000 Public Water Supplies with Serious Lead Contamination’; A USA Today investigation found excessive levels of lead in almost 2,000 water systems throughout the United States.

    a short video at the end claims that in order to get free (allegedly potable) water one needs to show valid ID, meaning undocumented people can’t partake. wow.


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