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E-M:/ Celebrating Water for Life - Detroit Water Event at the Southfield Library

Enviro-Mich message from "" <diana@emeac.org>

Is Water A Human Right For All People, Or A Commodity Global Corporations Can Sell For Profit? 

What: East Michigan Environmental Action Council to host screening of movie Thirst. 

When: Tuesday, May 9, 2006 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm 

Where: Southfield Public Library Auditorium 26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield   (directions at the end of release) 

Speaker/Moderator:  Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Public Radio Policy Analyst

The film presentation is free and open to the public.  Donations are appreciated. 

Is there reason to worry about access to fresh water for those of us living in the Great Lakes Basin?    Come on May 9 th for an evening of poetry, film screening and discussion at the Southfield Public Library to learn about and discuss this Michigan treasure. 

The evening will begin with the spoken word poetry of William Copeland, Detroit Poet and member of the Long Hairz and Write Word Write Now Collective. Jack Lessenberry, award-winning columnist for the Metro Times and Michigan Public Radio's Senior Political Analyst, will provide commentary and facilitate discussion on the film. 

EMEAC's annual event will be the first of a series of events on Detroit's water supply called Celebrating Water for Life.  EMEAC is co-hosting the series with a collaboration of environmental and social organizations including Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Clean Water Action, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Detroit Audubon Society, Ecology Center, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Welfare Rights, and the Sierra Club.   

Many communities across the state are confronting water issues ? for example, Highland Park residents are experiencing water shut-offs; Mecosta County's ground water is being freely siphoned and sold by a corporation; Monroe County residents must ship in water because their water supply has been contaminated by quarry operations.   Polluted lakes and rivers across the state make eating fish potentially unsafe for women and children, especially low-income urban and native populations who rely on fishing for subsistence. Water is being treated less as a valuable nature resource, and more as a marketable commodity, threatening everyone's access to clean water. 

The Celebrating Water for Life series will explore water issues from the perspective of social justice and human rights: how will pollution and privatization of water further exacerbate social equities and divisions, particularly in Detroit? 

This first event featuring the film Thirst poses the question: is water a human right for all people or a commodity global corporations can sell for profit?   The film challenges Michiganders to re-evaluate the value we put on this resource that seems so bountiful.   Nestle bottles and sells Michigan groundwater.  Huge plans to divert water through pipes out of the Great Lakes Basin for sale to the parched American Southwest or in tankers to Asia have been and continue to be proposed. Detroit's water supply system is old and in need of repair. In other cities, including Atlanta, New Orleans, Lexington and Indianapolis, private corporations have presented attractive financing proposals and have taken over public systems.   

If we treat water as a commodity, by buying it in bottles, by selling to other regions, or by allowing private corporations to take over public water systems, do we give away power we cannot reclaim?   How can the needs of poor people for access to water be met if control of water is held by profit-motivated private companies rather than local governments? Thirst tells how the privatization of water is occurring, and how it can happen anywhere if people are not informed and prepared. 

Southfield Public Library Auditorium 
26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield , between 10 and 11 Mile Roads
* From 696 take the Evergreen exit and go south on Evergreen.
* From the Lodge (10) take the Evergreen exit and go north.


For more information, contact:
Diana Seales (248) 258-5188 or (517) 980-5923
Email: director@emeac.org 
East Michigan Environmental Action Council

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