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Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson draw national attention, criticism

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Even as President Obama was signing the disaster declaration for Flint and Genesee County, hundreds of protesters were gathering on the front lawn of Flint city hall.

They chanted “Snyder’s gotta go” and carried signs calling for Michigan’s governor to resign and/or be arrested for his role in Flint’s water crisis.

Snyder appointed the emergency managers that decided to switch Flint from the Detroit water system and to tap the Flint River for the city’s drinking water. State regulators also failed to correct problems with Flint’s drinking water after the 2014 switch. State officials also ridiculed reports by outside experts that the corrosive river water was leaching lead from aging pipes into the drinking water.

Controversial filmmaker, and former Flint resident, Michael Moore bashed the governor during an appearance in front of city hall Saturday. 

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Rev. Jesse Jackson stood behind Flint Mayor Karen Weaver as she announced the president had signed a disaster declaration for the city and Genesee County.

Surrounded by a crush of TV news cameras, Moore says Gov. Snyder bears responsibility for Flint’s tainted water crisis, as well as 10 recent deaths from Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County.

“Ten people were killed here by a political decision to save money,” Moore told the crowd. 

It is suspected that a spike in Legionnaire's disease is related to Flint's water troubles, but that has not  been confirmed.

Moore called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Republican governor’s role in what has happened in Flint. 

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit is working with the EPA on an investigation. 

Moore is not the only national figure in Flint this weekend. 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson stood behind Flint Mayor Karen Weaver at a news conference Saturday.   

“I am delighted to stand with the citizens of the city of Flint,” Jackson told reporters. Jackson will hold a rally at a Flint church on Sunday afternoon. 

Moore and Jackson are not welcomed by everyone.  

The two men were heckled by some long-time Flint water activists, who asked where the two men had been during the nearly two years Flint’s water crisis was happening away from the lens of national TV networks.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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