Published on Feb 17, 2016
http://democracynow.org – Today, we go to Flint, Michigan, for a Democracy Now! special on the ongoing Flint water crisis. In 2014, an unelected emergency manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder switched the source of the city’s drinking water from the Detroit system, which they’d been using for half a century, to the corrosive Flint River. Soon, residents were complaining about discolored and foul-smelling water, which was plagued by a host of problems. First, the water was infested with bacteria. Then it had cancerous chemicals called trihalomethanes, or TTHMs. A deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by a water-borne bacteria, spread throughout the city, killing 10 people. And quietly, underground, the Flint River water was corroding the city’s aging pipes, poisoning the drinking water with lead, which can cause permanent developmental delays and neurological impairment, especially in children. Since the news about the lead poisoning broke last October, a slew of Michigan public officials have been ousted, the FBI has opened an investigation, and a special counsel for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office has announced top officials, including Governor Rick Snyder, could face criminal charges, including manslaughter. Well, this past weekend, we went to Flint to learn the remarkable story of how the governor and other officials ignored residents’ complaints for a year and a half, and how the city fought back—with protests, citizen journalism, a new mayor and a massive resident testing project.