Last week, thousands of American veterans descended on Standing Rock to defend the anti-pipeline protesters from police brutality. Now that the news has been handed down that the US Army is blocking the pipeline (at least for the time being), the veteran’s group is on the move once again. Their next stop? Flint, Michigan, where residents are still struggling with a lack of access to clean water.
In early 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s utility system to the polluted Flint River, without adding the anti-corrosion agents needed to keep the water safe. The new water ate away at the city’s pipes, causing lead to leach into the water of homes and schools through the area for nearly a year before the city alerted residents to the problem. Despite a national spotlight, the water crisis still hasn’t been resolved.
In fact, the state of Michigan seems to be doing all it can to avoid delivering fresh drinking water to residents in the meantime. A federal judge recently ordered state officials to oversee deliveries of bottled water to all affected homes in Flint to help residents avoid exposure to dangerous levels of contaminants. However, the state has appealed the ruling and is apparently defying the order. Those in affected homes can still pick up bottled water from state-run distribution centers and call to request a personal delivery if needed.
Related: 6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis
There’s no set date for the veterans’ trip to Flint yet, but if it’s anything like the Standing Rock campaign, it’s likely to be an impressive effort. In the end, supporters donated more than $1.1 million on GoFundMe to help send more than 4,000 veterans to the reservation.
Via The Independent
Images via Wise Woman Rising, Kelly Kolisnik, and Ruth Hopkins