Yesterday, months after being asked by multiple groups including Congressman Dan Kildee, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder finally asked the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Flint. This move, if approved, will open up federal funds to deal with this human-made disaster that will be Flint’s and Rick Snyder’s legacy for decades to come.
Snyder’s tardy response comes one day after learned that a massive spike in Legionnaires’ Disease began shortly after Flint’s switch to Flint River as the source of their drinking water. Although the connection between the switch and the outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease has yet to be proven, it would take an incredible coincidence for this chart to look the way it does without the switch having been the cause (I have indicated where the switch to the Flint River occurred in red):
It’s worth noting that I had to nab this chart from The Detroit News because the state government report where it came from, titled “Legionellosis Outbreak — Genesee County”, has been deleted from their website.
A connection between the switch and the outbreak is likely according to Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards who was one of the original whistleblowers in the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water by Snyder administration officials:
“It’s not unexpected that the lack of corrosion control could have triggered that.”
“Legionella likes water that has little or no chlorine and has high iron,” Edwards said today. “Both those factors would contribute to the growth in Legionella.”
This morning, Attorney General Bill Schuette who has been scandalously in absentia during this entire debacle, has finally consented to opening an investigation into just what the hell happened in Flint. According to a press release from the AG’s office, “the purpose of the investigation is to determine what, if any, Michigan laws were violated in the process that resulted in the contamination crisis.” You’ll forgive me if I’m dubious that Schuette’s office will find that anyone in the Snyder administration is culpable. It’s far more likely that they’ll lay it at the doorstep of Flint government officials.
Yesterday, Flint residents and others staged a massive protest at the State Capitol Building. You can see video from the protest in this segment from The Rachel Maddow Show last night where presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighs in, calling what’s happening in Flint “infuriating” and saying she is “outraged”:
Starting Sunday, there are at least three more protests planned. First, there will be a rally on Sunday, January 17th at Heavenly Host Church of the Harvest, 2202 W. Dartmouth, in Flint. Rev. Jesse Jackson is scheduled to attend this rally. You can read Rev. Jackson’s op-ed on what’s happening in Flint HERE.
Second, on Monday, January 18th, there will be march and rally in Ann Arbor where Gov. Snyder lives with his wife. From the event’s Facebook page:
Show your support for the people of Flint, Michigan, who have been subjected to lead poisoning by the Flint public water system, through the deliberate and criminal actions of Michigan Governor Snyder, his MDEQ, and his appointed emergency managers.
Bring: warm hat, coat, boots; your favorite protest songs; drums; LED (lighted) signs; protest signs.
We will have a volunteer in the giant Snyder head and a jail suit. “Fire Gov. Snyder” t-shirts will be available while they last.
Creative signs encouraged on the theme of arrest and imprisonment.
Rally at 4 pm in front of the Rackham Building at 915 E. Washington St. in Ann Arbor.
4:30 pm: March west along Washington St. to Main St. Turn left and go 1/2 block to 211 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. At 5:00 p.m., Protesters meet up in front of the Governor’s address, 211 S Main. Form a moving circle. 5:45 p.m. Optional march back to campus via Liberty St. for Questions contact organizers Colleen Crossey at [email protected] or PM Jan BenDor.
Finally, a larger rally is planned for Tuesday, January 19th. This one is being organized by a coalition of progressive groups and is being held in conjunction with Gov. Snyder’s State of the State address. From their Facebook event page:
Gov. Rick Snyder is giving his State of the State speech and we need to demand answers and hold him accountable for the Flint Water Crisis. This rally is being organized by a coalition of groups and organizations.
Arrive at the Lansing City Hall Courtyard (124 W Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48933) at 5 p.m.
Rally to begin after a press conference with Flint families and advocates. Dress warm! Bring signs and noisemakers. There will be a warming center near the Capitol at the Central United Methodist Church (215 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933).
Flint Bus & Carpool Location:
Teamsters Local 332
1502 South Dort Hwy
Flint, MI 48503
Bus 1 (seats 55)
Bus 2 (seats 47)
Detroit Bus & Carpool Location:
2727 Second Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Depart: 3:30PM (seats 47)
For a printable flyer, click HERE.
If you are aware of other events, please shoot me an email or leave a comment with details and I will add them to this post.