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Citizens Demand Arrest of Michigan Governor For Poisoning the Water of Flint, Michigan

"To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat"
Pop Singer Cher says Snyder ought to be placed in front of a firing squad.  Adapted from an Illustration by DonkeyHotey.
Read Michael Moore's Letter Demanding Snyder's Resignation
Sign the Petition

Pop Singer Cher says Snyder should be placed in front of a firing squad.
Adapted from an Illustration by DonkeyHotey.


FROM: Michael Moore
TO: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Dear Governor Snyder:

Thanks to you, sir, and the premeditated actions of your administrators, you have effectively poisoned, not just some, but apparently ALL of the children in my hometown of Flint, Michigan.

And for that, you have to go to jail.

To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven't figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this.

But you did. Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison -- but you decided that taking over the city and "cutting costs" to "balance the budget" was more important than the people's health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders). So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River -- a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to "clean" it -- which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint's aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people's taps. Your callous -- and reckless (btw, "reckless" doesn't get you a pass; a reckless driver who kills a child, still goes to jail) -- decision to do this has now, as revealed by the city's top medical facility, caused "irreversible brain damage" in Flint's children, not to mention other bodily damage to all of Flint's adults. Here's how bad it is: Even GM won't let the auto parts they use in building cars touch the Flint water because that water "corrodes" them (link). This is a company that won't even fix an ignition switch after they've discovered it's already killed dozens of people. THAT's how bad the situation is. Even GM thinks you're the devil.

Maybe you don't understand the science behind this. Lead, in water -- now, bear with me, this involves a science lesson and you belong to the anti-science party, the one that believes there's not a climate problem and that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. Lead is toxic to the human body. There's no way to fully eliminate it once it's in your system, and children are the most damaged by it.

By taking away the city's clean drinking water in order to "cut costs," and then switching the city's water supply to Flint River water, you have allowed massively unsafe levels of pollutants and lead into the water that travels in to everyone's home. Every Flint resident is trapped by this environmental nightmare which you, Governor, have created.

Like any real criminal, when you were confronted with the truth (by the EPA and other leading water experts across America), you denied what you did. Even worse, you decided to mock your accusers and their findings. As I said, I know you don't like to believe in a lot of science (after all, you used to run Gateway Computers, and that, really, is all anyone needs to know about you), but this time the science has caught up with you -- and this time, I hope, it's going to convict you.

The facts are all there, Mr. Snyder. Every agency involved in this scheme reported directly to you. The children of Flint didn't have a choice as to whether or not they were going to get to drink clean water. But soon it will be your turn to not have that choice about which water you'll be drinking. Because by this time next year, if there is an ounce of justice left in this land, the water you'll be drinking will be served to you from a tap inside Jackson Prison.

I am calling upon my fellow Michiganders -- and seekers of justice everywhere -- to petition U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to arrest you for corruption and assault (i.e., the physical assault you committed against the children of Flint when you knowingly poisoned them).

Yesterday, the federal prosecutor in Flint, after many of us had called for months for this action, finally opened up an investigation into the matter (link). Now we need your arrest, prosecution and conviction.

And who will be cheering on that day when you are fitted with a bright orange jumpsuit? The poor and minority communities of Michigan who've endured your dictatorial firing of their mayors and school boards so you could place your business friends in charge of their mostly-black cities. They know you never would have done this to a wealthy white suburb.

I welcome all to look at the appalling facts of this case, which have been reported brilliantly here, here, and especially here by the great Rachel Maddow. Thank you, Rachel, for caring so deeply when the rest of the national television media didn't.

I'm asking everyone who agrees with me to sign on to this petition and call for your arrest, Governor Snyder. You are not allowed to run amok in my hometown like you have done. The children whom you have poisoned have to endure a life of pain and lower IQ's from your actions. You have destroyed a generation of children -- and for that, you must pay.

It is time for you to go to prison. Out of mercy, I'll ask that you have in your cell your own personal Gateway computer.

Sincerely,
Michael Moore
Flint native
Michigan resident and voter

P.S. For everyone wanting to sign on to this petition calling for the IMMEDIATE resignation of Governor Snyder AND for the FBI to arrest him, please sign the petition http://michaelmoore.com/ArrestGovSnyder#signup-form

_____________

By Sarah Lazare
Calls for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's ouster—and arrest—are growing after internal emails showed that his high-level staffers were aware of lead poisoning in Flint's public water supply six months before the administration declared a state of emergency.

According to the newly-released emails, which were obtained by NBC News, Snyder's chief of staff at the time, Dennis Muchmore, wrote to an unnamed high-level health department staffer: "I'm frustrated by the water issue in Flint."

"These folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us (as a state we're just not sympathizing with their plight)," Muchmore wrote in the email, according to journalists Stephanie Gosk, Kevin Monahan, Tim Sandler and Hannah Rappleye.

"I really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt," wrote Muchmore. "Now they are concerned and rightfully so about the lead level studies they are receiving."

But it was not until this week that Snyder declared a state of emergency, following in the footsteps of the city's mayor. "The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority and we're committed to a coordinated approach with resources from state agencies to address all aspects of this situation," Snyder said on Tuesday.

Following the resignation of Michigan's top environmental official, as well as sustained community demands, the Department of Justice announced this week it is launching an investigation into the water crisis.

Many hold Snyder directly culpable for the emergency itself, and note his role in the Detroit water crisis.

"The source of the Flint Water Crisis leads directly to Gov. Rick Snyder and the fiscal austerity policies that he and his Republican colleagues have been pushing for years on Michigan residents," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan," in a statement released Thursday. "Families in Flint were forced to drink lead-tainted water while the administration scoffed at their concerns and cries for help. An entire generation of Michiganders now face an uncertain future because of Republican cuts to essential and life-giving services."

The Republican governor appointed Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley who enforced the April 2014 decision to switch from the Detroit system to the Flint River to source water. In an angry letter to Snyder, filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore wrote:
Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison -- but you decided that taking over the city and "cutting costs" to "balance the budget" was more important than the people's health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River -- a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to "clean" it -- which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint's aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people's taps.

Moore, in fact, is circulating a petition calling on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to arrest Snyder for "corruption and assault."

While Flint returned to the Detroit water system in October following public concern, the wide-spread lead poisoning can not be undone. According to the World Health Organization, "Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system."

And there are already signs damage has been done. A study released in September by researchers at the nearby Hurley Children's Hospital identified a "rise in blood lead levels of children less than 5 years old" living within two Flint Zip codes since the city began sourcing drinking water from the Flint River.

In a municipality that is 56 percent black and, according to the latest U.S. Census, one of the poorest cities in the country, community coalitions including "Water You Fighting For" charge that profound injustices lie at the root of the current crisis. As Moore noted, "To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat."



Reprinted with permission from Common Dreams.



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