"Water is a God-given right"

On Sunday, Dec 4, 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would not allow Energy Transfer Partners to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as planned.1 Today, Friday, Dec 9, 2016, Flint residents marched downtown to protest the pipeline anyway. That is to say, even though Flint has water problems of its own, the residents still felt enough solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that they carried the Sioux's banner instead of Flint's today.

This protest was organized by Flint resident Moriah Dorris. Meanwhile, a meeting was being organized by Veterans for Clean Water, a group of veterans who recently returned from Standing Rock. This meeting will be tomorrow, Saturday, Dec 10, 2016. Its purpose is to plan future direct actions against Enbridge Line 5 -- the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac that has been operating for ten years longer than its planned 50-year lifespan, and in support of clean water for Flint. Neither group was aware of the other's organizing efforts.

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. There is such a wellspring of solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux here in Michigan that people are appearing almost from nowhere to show their support.

Tomorrow's meeting will be different, according to Ryan Mulholland, one of the Veterans for Clean Water. This is not a demonstration. It is a plan for civil disobedience. "In Standing Rock, we're fighting to make sure the water doesn't become contaminated. But people in Flint can't drink the water now," he said. "Water is a God-given right," he added. While brainstorming actions that people might decide to take, he listed: Shutting down bridges, shutting down banks, bringing thousands of veterans to the capitol, making a symbolic "citizen's arrest" of governor Snyder. The purpose of the meeting tomorrow will be to discuss whether to take any of those actions, and/or others.

The meeting will be at The Green Union, 5411 N Saginaw St, Flint, Michigan 48505, Saturday, Dec 10, 2016, from 6pm-9pm.