City Of Detroit Begins Punishing Poor People For Being Poor In The Most Inhumane Way (VIDEO)

Imagine your child was playing outside, runs into the house for a drink, turns on the tap and nothing comes out. Your baby is standing there sweating and thirsty all because the city you live in has decided that your family deserved to be punished for being poor and shut your water off. When you realize what has happened, you send your child to your neighbor’s house to get a glass of water there, but their water has been shut off too, and thousands of other people in the city are facing the same dilemma. Elderly people, families with children, young couples, students, all without water — that’s what’s happening in Detroit, Michigan.

Roughly 20,000 people¬†are in danger of having their water turned off today, according to Detroit’s ABC 7 News:

The water is still on for Detroit residents behind on their bills, but not for long. Detroit Water and Sewerage announced they’re shutting off service to those who owe them payments. About 20,000 people could see their water shut off, starting May 3rd at 8 a.m.

Since 2014, the people of one of the poorest cities in the country have been fighting to keep their water on. The Detroit Water Crisis is so bad that experts from the United Nations have accused the city of violating human rights. In June 2014, the group put out a press release saying:

Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights…Disconnections due to non-payment are only permissible if it can be shown that the resident is able to pay but is not paying. In other words, when there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections.”

Nearly two years later the fight over water is still going on and city officials are claiming that they don’t “want” to turn the services off, but they have to if residents do not ask to be put on payment plans.¬†Detroit Water and Sewerage Director Gary Brown said,”We don’t want to shut anyone’s water off. Come in, ask for assistance, get on a payment plan.” Residents who have bills of up to $700 will have the balance frozen and be allowed to pay $25 a month.

While it may seem like a sweet payment plan, clearly it is not working. In the two years since the city started to aggressively target residents who could not pay, they still have thousands of residents in the same situation. These are not people who are refusing to pay their water bills because they want to go out and party; these are people who live in extreme poverty — the likes of which should not exist in this country.

It is incredibly inhumane for the city to do this. Water is a right, not a luxury and it should NEVER be shut off because someone cannot afford to pay. But…capitalism — isn’t it great?

For more on Detroit’s water wars, watch this video:


Featured image via Bill Pugliano/Getty Images