Detroit’s water crisis has drawn international attention in recent weeks putting a spotlight on the water cut-off program being pursued by the city. Organizations on the ground have been calling for an end to the cut-offs since March when the city announced it would begin shutting off water services to 1,500 to 3,000 households every week. Following a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation submitted by the Blue Planet Project/Council of Canadians and Detroit groups, Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque warned that the mass water shut-offs were a violation of human rights.
After mounting pressure the city announced a 15-day suspension on new shut-offs yet groups continue to call for the shut offs to end permanently…
…Opposition has been mounting through the summer. Residents organized direct actions outside of Homrich, the company contracted to shut households’ water off. Hollywood stars like Mark Ruffalo and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morella have added their voices to the chorus of calls for an end to the shutoffs. On July 18, the National Nurses United along with the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions organized a mass rally that drew thousands of people including actor Ruffalo to the city.