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Flint residents interrupt House session, demand clean water

Flint residents stand on the Capitol steps protesting the Snyder administration decision to stop free bottled water delivery to the city.
Cheyna Roth
/
MPRN
Flint residents stand on the Capitol steps protesting the Snyder administration decision to stop free bottled water delivery to the city.

People from Flint interrupted a state legislative session Wednesday to demand clean drinking water.

They’re upset with the recent decision by Governor Rick Snyder’s administration to stop distributing free bottled water in the city. During House session, people started to chant, “Do your job, open the PODs” – that’s Point of Delivery for bottled water distribution. The group then walked down the stairs and out of the Capitol while chanting. One person was temporarily detained. He says he isn’t facing any charges.

“Today they heard us on our voice and our terms. And that’s a very powerful thing,” said Flint resident and leader with the activity group Michigan United, Anthony Paciorek.

Governor Rick Snyder said Flint’s tap water has been tested and it’s satisfied the water is safe to use. But residents say they still don’t trust the water. Or the government.

Claire McClinton lives in Flint and helped organize the event. She said they are not going to let the state forget about Flint.

“For them to put a narrative out there and telegraph a message to the world that everything is fine, it’s hunky dory,” she said. “What they’re saying to us is that, we’re done with Flint.”

Organizers say they will continue to mobilize and protest until all the lead pipes in Flint are replaced.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R