10/02/14

Permalink A US judge declares Detroit residents have no right to water

The cruel decision by judge Steven Rhodes is an object lesson for the entire working class. Rhodes exposed the logic of the capitalist system, the ruthlessness of the corporate and financial aristocracy that oversees it and the class character of all the institutions of the state. In a ruling on Monday, the federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Detroit declared that workers, youth and retirees have no “fundamental right” to water, as he threw out a lawsuit challenging the city’s policy of shutting off tens of thousands of residents from one of the most fundamental necessities of life. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included victims of the water shutoffs, argued that irreparable harm had been inflicted on their clients and residents of Detroit. If the policy continued, they contended, it could lead to the outbreak of disease and death. Rhodes acknowledged that such harm had occurred and that “water is a necessary ingredient for sustaining life.” Nevertheless, he insisted, a finding of irreparable harm “does not suggest that there is a fundamental enforceable right to free or affordable water. There is no such right in law. Just as there is no such affordable right to other necessities of life such as shelter, food and medical care.”

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