Jackson water crisis sparks march, rally outside governor’s mansion
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Poor People’s Campaign and the Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition called for unison between the state and the city.
“Free the land, clean the water, keep it public.”
That was the theme of Monday’s march in response to a crisis that has been felt by every one of Jackson’s residents, including Isaiah McCoy.
“It’s time for action,” McCoy said. “We’re tired of just hearing words with no things behind them, no promises being held.”
The event honed in on how the Capital City’s water issues have impacted certain types of people.
One was the city’s youth — something George Stewart with the Mississippi Association of Educators is all too familiar with.
“When there’s low water pressure, no water pressure, our schools have to shut down, and we have to move over to virtual learning,” said Stewart. “So when we have to shut down our schools, we have many students who fall behind academically.”
Another group was doctors. One local physician says the water woes have not only caused complications within his clinic but also for his patients.
“Water is viable to clean and nourish ourselves,” said Dr. Berthrone Mock-Mohammad. “Water is a natural solvent. It is how medications work. Without water, your medicines wouldn’t work.”
Together all these groups hope the state and city can work on one accord.
“Water is a human right,” McCoy said. “This is the person that has the power to change that in our day-to-day, immediate lives, so they have to get the message first before anybody else.”
The Poor People’s Campaign says they aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll continue to pressure state and federal officials for long-term solutions to the city’s water crisis.
The group says Mississippi also could face more legal challenges for failing to provide access to safe drinking water. “Lawyers from Forward Justice and the Center for Constitutional Rights have agreed to represent residents who have not been able to access safe drinking water on behalf of the Mississippi Poor People’s Campaign,” Press Secretary Yolanda Barksdale wrote.
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