Mark Ruffalo runs on stage at Netroots Nation to advocate for action in Detroit on recent water shut-offs

I think everyone here at Netroots Nation was going to attend anyway, but actor Mark Ruffalo just ran out on stage, as Senator Elizabeth Warren made her way off, urging everyone to attend this afternoon’s big Keep The Water On rally outside of COBO Hall.

Here he is, making his plea. (The women at my table we absolutely giddy.)

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If you’re not familiar with what’s going on in Detroit right now relative to water access, here’s the press release about today’s event.

We call on activists everywhere to come to Detroit on Friday, July 18 for a rally and march to fight the dictatorship of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, appointed by millionaire Republican Governor Rick Synder, and backed by Wall Street bankers and the 1%.

Taking place during the national Netroots Nation 2014 conference, several thousand people will converge in downtown Detroit to demand an immediate stop to residential water shutoffs and and an immediate restoration of water service. Demonstrators will demand that that the be no cuts to pensions and a restoration of retiree health benefits.

Under a state-imposed bankruptcy, the City of Detroit workers face severe cuts to their pensions and tens of thousands of people face water shutoffs.

The banks who have destroyed Detroit’s neighborhoods through racist predatory subprime mortgages and saddled the City of Detroit with fraudulent subprime financing, continue to loot the people of Detroit.

Detroiters have lost their democratic rights – “elected” officials serve at the pleasure of the unelected Emergency Manager, and may be fired at any time.

From the loss of the auto plant jobs, loss of people from home foreclosures, attack on pensions, high insurance, replacing public schools with charter schools/Education Achievement Authority (EAA), water shut-offs, to privatization and the state helping corporations take over city assets and services such as Belle Isle, the largest urban park in the U.S., garbage department, workforce development, human services, health dept., Detroit Institute of Arts, with selling the water dept. on the horizon! Banks, billionaires and corporations made this bankruptcy up to rob the people of Detroit blind and kill democracy.

To Detroiters, we say, ”It’s time to take a stand, stand up and fight for yourselves, your children, your grandchildren, your city!”

To people everywhere, we say, “Stand with the people of Detroit. Your city, your services, and your pensions will be targetted next”

Let’s come together to stop the takeover of Detroit, we are not going to take this anymore! United we can stop the takeover of our Detroit! Make the banks pay!


[note: I know it’s not political, but, if I get a chance, I fully intend to ask Ruffalo about his statement yesterday that he’d like to play Columbo in a movie. I’d always been against the idea of someone trying to revive the character made popular by my friend Peter Falk, but, if anyone is going to do it, I think it should be Ruffalo.]

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  1. Foggy
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Do people feel that water should be free? I’m sympathetic to those who have lost their water, but should it really be an expectation that water should be delivered to people for free when they’re spending their money on cable, cigarettes, pop and junk food?

  2. Lynne
    Posted July 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I think that water should be free to our poorest citizens. Water is just so essential that it is a big hardship not to have it. Even people who are poor because of their own bad choices deserve water (and food, shelter, clothing, healthcare and other basic needs for that matter). We have the resources to do this but we get caught up on some idea that if we withhold these necessities, it will motivate people to stop spending money on things like cable, cigarettes, pop, junk food, beer, drugs, or whatever else we feel poor people should not be buying. We have this notion even though we know that this doesn’t work. Some people will make bad decisions no matter what the public policy is.

    The thing is that even if I didn’t believe any of that stuff or thought that withholding water could motivate people into behaving in a way I consider to be more responsible, I still don’t think it is a good idea to turn off the water. The main reason is sanitation. You shut off the water to enough people in a geographic area and you run the risk of a big public health problem. Possibly a public health problem which would be more costly than just giving poor people water in the first place?

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