Hundreds of demonstrators marched through Detroit this weekend to protest the city’s crackdown on delinquent water customers. Thousands of families are having their water shut off because they (or sometimes previous tenants) did not pay water bills. According to the New York Times the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department claimed that in March about half of their customers had outstanding water bills.
Detroit has lost something like 60% of its population in recent decades, following the decimation of the American automobile industry. This has made Detroit one of the most expensive cities in the country in which to consume water.
Kevyn D. Orr, the city’s emergency manager, is a former corporate bankruptcy lawyer.
The shutoff policy has been described by the United Nations as a “violation of the human right to water.”
The international community as represented by the U.N. usually has some criticism or other about the USA invading countries or droning birthday parties and whatnot, but I don’t remember many times they publicly accused a municipality of committing human rights violations.