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(en) US, m1aa.org: First of May, Resist the Attacks! Flint & Detroit Fight Back, New Edition of Our Broadsheet, Anarchist Revolution
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:45:05 +0200
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Fight: Who are Ukraine's fascists? ---- Chicago Fire Supporters Section 8 host Rock
Against Racism gig Saturday Sept. 28th ---- Update from ‘Steadfast Yarmouk’ and a Note
---- PRESS RELEASE: Anti-Fascist Network statement on Saturday 7th September EDL demonstration
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Self-Organization of the popular struggles in Syria against the regime and islamist
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Support Irina Lipskaya, imprisoned anarchist and anti-fascist from Moscow
Anarchist anti-fascists from Kazan, Russia need your solidarity
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Resist the Attacks! Flint & Detroit Fight Back
PDF version here.
Resist the Attacks!
Flint & Detroit Fight Back
by First of May Anarchist Alliance – Detroit Collective
Feb 2, 2016
From Flint to Detroit residents, students and teachers are on the frontlines in defending
themselves against attacks by the ruling classes, the politicians and their police. It is
the people of Flint who have forced the politicians and media to listen and learn of the
Flint water crisis. It has been Students, teachers and their allies who are resisting the
breakup of public education and connecting the struggle of DPS to the ongoing crisis
facing Detroit beyond the classroom.
Politicians make excuses while regular people offer solutions. As the struggle moves
forward we say:
1) Free, clean and safe water for Flint. There is only one solution in Flint: a new water
system. The state made this mess, now they need to clean it up. We want safe water to each
home and school! Dig up the contaminated pipes and replace those pipes. Whatever it takes
until water infrastructure is replaced. We support the creation of mass, collective
resistance and the refusal to pay water and utility bills. This also means refunding
peoples water payments. No payments for poison.
2) Money and resources for physical and mental health services must be made available to
those poisoned by the state, especially children. Instead of paying PR firms, the state
should be putting money towards clinics and health initiatives focused on minimizing the
effects of poisoning your own people.
3) Down with the Emergency Manager (EM). We must work to undermine the authority and
control of the racist and anti-working class EM and the system it serves. We argue for
self-organization of the people at the local level, mass organizations for defense of our
communities. These new and independent organizations of the people are the alternative to
the government at all levels.
4) We oppose privatization and militarization of the distribution of water and resources.
All distribution of water and resources must be under popular control at the local level
by democratic institutions. The people of Flint must decide on the immediate response! We
oppose corporations making profit off of this crisis and we oppose the National Guard,
army or police being placed in charge of distribution of water and resources.
5) Hands off students and teachers of the Detroit Public Schools. Support the students who
have organized walkouts in solidarity with their teachers. This means no suspensions or
punitive actions! Defend all teachers facing harassment, intimidation and threat of firing
or legal action! An injury to one is an injury to all!
In 2013 Governor Snyder declared a financial emergency in Flint and appointed Emergency
Manager (EM) Darnell Earley to run the city. Snyder and the Emergency Manager decided
their plans were more important than safe water. They switched water treatment from the
Detroit system to the old Flint treatment plant, which had been closed for more than 50
years. Those hired to monitor and process the water from the Flint River cut corners and
then tried to cover their mistakes up.
The people of Flint began to complain about the smell, look and taste of the polluted
water coming from their taps; corrosive toxins were wrecking the old water system. Now the
water system in Flint has been destroyed. Even with the switch back to the old water
system the untreated polluted water has caused the pipes to leach deadly lead into the
water system, and the people of Flint have been drinking poisoned water for the past two
years. Especially hard hit are pregnant mothers, newborns and young children. Lead attacks
and damages nerve cells in children’s brains. The documented effects are varying forms of
decreased mental development and cognitive skills. In adults it has been linked to immune
deficiencies and decreased fertility.
There’s also been a spike in deaths from the respiratory illness, Legionnaires Disease,
caused by the contaminated water. The micro-bacteria have now been found in the water
supply for Flint’s Hurley Medical Center. As of now ten people have died with near one
hundred other confirmed cases.
Although aid is starting to arrive to Flint, residents are expressing their anger and
contempt at the half assed response by the Government. Flint residents say what they see
are just “band aids”. As of now the government’s response has been to bring in bottled
water. Bottled water and water filters that don’t filter out lead are not real solutions
to the problem; it does not keep lead and bacteria from flowing out of the water taps.
Other communities in Flint are experiencing near exclusion from the aid programs. Faced
with the Obama Administration’s stepped up attacks and deportations of immigrants, many in
the Latino community are experiencing near exclusion from the aid programs. The increased
presence of police and uniformed National Guard creates suspicion, tension and fear. The
situation facing immigrant communities in Flint highlights the vicious intersections of
racist neglect of Flint and anti-immigrant policies.
The toll this crisis is having on the people of Flint is staggering. Determining real
solutions means a complete view of the social and environmental repercussions. Bottled
water will not provide real solutions and the vast amounts of bottled water being
distributed are destructive to the environment both in its plastic packaging and massive
water extraction done by companies for profit. It is environmentally irresponsible and
contributes to the cycle of human, social and environmental destruction.
Snyder, Republican and Democratic politicians are carrying out policies to break up the
Detroit Public School system to liquidate massive debt. Since 2009 DPS has been under
State administration. Currently the Snyder appointed EM runs the DPS. The EM is Darnell
Earley, the former Flint EM who oversaw the switching of Flint’s water from Detroit to the
toxic Flint River.
The Snyder administration wants to cut wages and pensions and create more private charter
schools that are allocated public money but are not under public control. This plan
results in an already desperate school system falling further into crisis. Children go to
public schools filled with rats, bugs and toxic molds. Teachers are faced with class sizes
of over fifty students with little to no new instructional materials.
Students, teachers and parents are fighting back to protest these conditions! Teachers
have organized rank and file networks, demonstrations and “sick outs”. Students have led
mass walkouts in support of their teachers and to call attention to the conditions of
their schools. To make a stand and build movements to defend public education teachers and
students are taking real risks. DPS officials, Snyder, EM Earley and State Legislatures
are now using intimidation tactics, threats of firings and attempting to create a snitch
culture among teachers. As the struggle intensifies there has been physical harassment and
attack by security and police.
Working people, the poor and the youth are under attack! Politicians and bureaucrats have
deliberately pushed policies that have led to the mass poisoning of the city of Flint and
a deepening crisis in the Detroit Public Schools.
Stand with Flint and Detroit. Organize and Resist.
The Whole Damn System Has to Go.
The solutions require a massive social restructuring for peoples needs. Funds and
resources must be taken back from the wealthy few, the banks and corporations, and the
government. There must be a cancellation of debts for Flint and Detroit. We support an end
to the EM but that does not mean a return to the old system of city councils and mayors
that were part of the crisis in the past. There must be a focus on people organized and
building towards control of their own radical and directly democratic organizations as an
alternative to the government and this failed system. Without illusions, let’s be clear
that there must be massive transfer of wealth and resources from the few to the many.
Finding ways to make this real is not easy but it is necessary. Working people, the poor
and all those under attack must organize for revolution, to take control of the wealth and
redistribute it according to social needs.
First of May Anarchist Alliance – Detroit Collective
P.O. Box 15455, Detroit, MI 48215
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