Protesters march to City Hall, speak out against water emergency

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/10/17) – Protests were held at the same time Tuesday in Flint and Chicago - both to raise awareness about a closed-door meeting that has to do with Flint's water emergency.

The meeting happened Tuesday in Chicago between the state of Michigan and the EPA. We're told it's about some sort of update to water quality in Flint - and there will be a town hall Wednesday to update residents on what happened.

Protesters in Flint and Chicago took issue with the fact the meeting was closed to the public and media.

From St. Michael's Church, through the streets of downtown Flint, all the way to city hall, the group Flint Rising led protesters through the cold, snowy weather to make a statement.

"The decisions for Flint's water crisis happened behind closed doors. So we need to have these decisions made out in the open and for it to be open and transparent,” said Nayyirah Shariff, the director of Flint Rising.

Shariff and others fear any test results that come out of the meeting won't be an accurate idea of what's safe for residents.

"The tests are basically a snapshot in time and there's no guarantee that every single address in the city of Flint is going to have safe drinking water 100 percent of the time,” she said.

Shariff said the protest was also a chance to bring awareness to other water-related issues, like high water rates. Protesters chanted inside the billing office at city hall.

"And if people don't keep fighting for it, it'll just get brushed under the rug,” said Christina Murphy, another protester.

Protesters even went into the mayor's office - although we're told Karen Weaver and some of her staff was at the meeting in Chicago.

After protesters went into City Hall, a couple police officers were called in. At one point, City Administrator Sylvester Jones spoke to the activists.

"It is not acceptable and this administration stands with you guys in saying, ‘Let's continue to fight for clean water without a filter,’” Jones said.



 
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