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E-M:/ Water Coalition Rallies outside Granholm's neighborhood for water protection and basic human rights



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Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <snakeman1549@yahoo.com>
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Press Release
For Immediate Release
Massasauga Earth First!
June 29, 2003

Granholm is Afraid of the Truth about Water
Protection: Denies Citizens Access to Her Neighborhood
to Talk to Her Neighbors About Her Policies Concerning
Water

Northville, MI—Sunday evening, Governor Granholm
called out the state police to deny citizens access to
her neighborhood to talk to her neighbors about ending
water shut offs to Michigan residents and protecting
the state’s water from diversion. Eight state police
cars were deployed to selectively deny protestors
access to the neighborhood and to prevent people from
talking to passer-bys. Close to 50 people showed up to
talk about the need for water policy that protects the
environment and respects basic human rights.

The citizens regrouped on the sidewalk outside of the
neighborhood in order to avoid arrest. As they
attempted to talk to people walking or bicycling by,
officers informed them that they would be arrested if
they did not get a permit to “solicit.” 

“Apparently in Northville, it is illegal for people to
talk to each other, or to give each other information
about an issue in the community,” said Marie Mason.
“We are exploring whether we can file a lawsuit over
the officers preventing us from expressing our first
amendment rights.”

“Obviously, it is not really illegal to talk to people
in a neighborhood, especially if you are not asking
for money,” said Colleen Eno. “The reality of it is
that Granholm does not want to have her image of being
a friend of people and the environment tarnished. She
is afraid of people exposing her as just another
corporate puppet.”

The Governor is supporting the expansion of the Ice
Mountain water bottling plant in Mecosta County,
Michigan. She recently issued the corporation 5
permits for new wells. These wells will allow Ice
Mountain to increase their pumping from the 400
gallons a minute they currently draw from their
original two wells. Ice Mountain is drawing water from
the Lake Michigan watershed, and diverting the water
out of the Great Lakes region. The diversion is
causing environmental damage to the tri-lakes area of
Mecosta County, with many of the streams and lakes
experiencing significant drops in their levels.
Governor Granholm has previously stated that she is
against water diversion, and more specifically that
she is against the Ice Mountain bottling factory. Ice
Mountain does not pay anything for the water, and
received a $10 million tax break to set up the
factory.

At the same time as she is supporting the expansion of
Ice Mountain, she is overseeing government policies
that allow thousands of citizens in Detroit and
Highland Park to be denied access to water. The state
has taken over the city of Highland Park. 

“Water is a human right,” said Steven Jackson. “No one
can deny another access to it for any reason. What
Granholm is doing to the people of Highland Park is
criminal. People are being thrown out of their homes
and having their children taken away because of her
neglect.”[The state removes children from homes
without water, places them in foster care, and often
pays more to the foster parent than the original water
bill.]

Thousands in Highland Park are without water because
of the state’s erratic billing process. Residents
there pay the highest water rates in the entire
country, despite Highland Park being one of the most
impoverished communities in the country. It is not
uncommon for residents to receive $1000+ quarterly
water bills, to be back billed for quarters they have
already paid, and/or charged for water when their
service has been shut off. 

“Granholm has shown that she is more concerned with a
multinational corporation’s bottom line than the
welfare of the citizens she purports to represent,”
said Frank Ambrose.  “By calling out the state police
to prevent us from informing her neighbors about her
irresponsible behavior only shows that she knows what
she  is doing is wrong. If she thought it was ok, she
would be proud to have us promoting her policies.” 

contact: Marie Mason, Massasauga Earth First!,
313-410-4155
Frank Ambrose, Massasauga Earth First!, 313-580-7484


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