When urban geographer David Harvey published Rebel Cities in 2012 he proposed, “The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city, [to] exercise collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization.”
Today, groups like the Right to the City Coalition focus mainly on housing justice and access to social services. More broadly, Right to the City as a movement includes living wages, food security, access to the collective commons, and other environmental justice matters.
Less often do the most basic of necessities like breathable air and drinkable water get included. Right now in Flint Michigan, that rare struggle has become a matter of life and death.
Last Thursday, hundreds of Flint and Lansing residents occupied the capitol building on the first day of Michigan’s legislative session to loudly demand the resignation of Governor Rick Snyder for his role in causing and covering up the lead poisoning crisis in Genesee county.
Since last week, Snyder requested federal disaster aid relief from the federal government. This request was partially granted, but fell short of gaining ongoing aid a natural disaster would’ve triggered. Snyder also moved to restore full authority to Flint’s newly elected mayor now that his Emergency Manager scheme has been proved a toxic mistake.
Political statements and finger pointing from political candidates only distract from solving the Flint water crisis.
— Governor Rick Snyder (@onetoughnerd) January 18, 2016