The occupation will not be televised

It was only last summer that emergency management officials shut off the power during a heatwave just because they could. This is an act of war akin to Israel’s cutting off water supplies in the occupied territories which is a good description for Detroit, an occupied territory run by unelected officials subservient to the bankers and corporate shot callers.  The residents of Detroit know all too well that wars can be waged without firing a single shot.

A scrapbook of the damage done: Detroit in ruins: the photographs of Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video from the USA says about itself:

Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands

24 June 2014

Activists in Detroit have appealed to the United Nations over the city’s move to shut off the water of thousands of residents. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says half of its 323,000 accounts are delinquent and has begun turning off the taps of those who do not pay bills that total above $150 or that are 60 days late. Since March, up to 3,000 account holders have had their water cut off every week.

The Detroit water authority carries an estimated $5 billion in debt and has been the subject of privatization talks. In a submission to the United Nations special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, activists say Detroit is trying to push through a…

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14 Responses to The occupation will not be televised

  1. Blind Noise says:

    How truly outrageous and disgusting.


  2. Jeff, Thank you for this important post. To our utter shame, this situation is, while not really unexpected, still so much beyond outrageous that it’s not easy to find coherent (much less respectable) language in which to respond. Not when I feel more like cursing and throwing things. I should try to find more positive news to share on this story, but I can’t seem to wait that long.

    You notice Detroit’s victims and their advocates have not bothered to beg the American government for help? And no one even finds that odd? (Okay, perhaps they have tried, I don’t really know yet; if so, their appeal was in vain. Maybe they remembered the ‘heck of a job’ FEMA did for New Orleans?) And is it just me, or are we all now wondering who’ll be next to fall in this heartless game of strip monopoly?

    And maybe I’m just missing all this, but where is the outpouring of solidarity and support for our Detroit brothers and sisters? Where the hell are our high-profile philanthropists? Where are all the fund-raising telethons? Where are the convoys of water tankers headed for the Motor City? Where are all our compassionate christians with their batallions of eager volunteers? We’ll find money to load giant aircraft with water to dump on wildfires … when they threaten the homes, or the vacation homes, of the rich, but there’s no way to get water to 300,000 hot and thirsty people? Are we really this ccallous and apathetic, this brainwashed by the decades-long, deliberate demonization of the poor and powerless? I hope not, but it’s looking most grim so far. And shameful.

    And just now I caught a 2-minute appeal from the Humane Society. Good luck getting people to help animals when we won’t even help one another. Then again, kittens and puppies are cuter than we are, so maybe their odds are better. – Linda

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is insane. The main reason cities began providing clean, safe water was to address the infectious epidemics (typhoid, cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis, etc) that devastated many cities during the 19th century. These epidemics don’t just affect poor people. Once they take hold, they’re transmitted via food as well as water.


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      Henry Giroux has likened the neoliberal agenda to a form of neofeudalism where “there is also an attack on the idea of the social contract—the state’s provision of minimum guarantees of security.” (

      My fear is that New Orleans and, now, Detroit are test runs for the elite. Per Frederick Douglass, “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.” The lack of mass pubic resistance is a worrying sign that we will tolerate even greater levels of repression and oppression and the corporate-capitalists who serve the elite will be more than happy to oblige.


  4. Like I said over at another blog about this story; Detroit has become a Rosewood in slow motion.


  5. lumar1298 says:

    Wow… I know well what it is like to be without water for two days and I got lucky it was only that time. When I moved to my townhouse, the water dept would not turn the water on because of a leak. It took my brother hours of arguing with them for them to turn the water on at our risk…


    • Jeff Nguyen says:

      It’s hard to imagine having that choice imposed upon one’s community due to merely delinquent accounts. It looks like only the bankers and billionaires get free passes.


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