The Left-wing Liberal Netroots Nation protested for "water rights" in Detroit yesterday. Mark Ruffalo provided a little celebrity to the demonstration as he kicked off the Water March.
You can see Ruffalo start the march at the 1:45 mark in the following video:
"You built this nation, okay? And what's happening in Detroit is a model for what could be happening in this nation. Instead of a nation for the .001 percent, it's a nation for all."
The protest flows from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department shutting off water to customers that don't pay their bills, So far this year, Detroit's water utility has shut off water to 17,000 customers. The utility wants people to do pay their overdue bills. Some residents and protesters are upset that the city is doing this.
One of the themes of the Netroots Nation 2014, or "Nutroots," as Senator Hatch christened them in 2007, is that water is a human right. The water protest is a misguided response to Detroit's water utility shutting off water of thousands of Detroit residents who failed to pay their bills. According to the Nutroots, these shut offs violate the "human right to water."
The Nutroots take it even further claiming that the water cutoff is a threat to public health. As the activists get more attention, thanks to the Nutroots and activist celebrities like Ruffalo, the idea that Detroit is somehow violating human rights by requiring payment for providing potable water to residents is taking hold and becoming part of the Left's social injustice agenda.
I agree that water is a human right. Like all "rights" water is a gift from God. Nevertheless, water that is treated to be safe for human consumption and distributed through a complicated networks of constantly maintained pipes is no longer a gift from God, but a human endeavor which must be paid for.
Perhaps David Burge put it best, "Shame on Detroit, the only city in America that makes people pay water bills." If the water rights protesters have their way, Burge's take might seem strange.