Pivotal Court Hearing for Activists Who Blocked Water Shut-Off Trucks
Pre-trial arguments for “Homrich 9”could feature important ruling from judge
DETROIT – Nine nonviolent Detroit water activists are scheduled to appear at 36th district Court 1:30pm Monday before Judge Cylenthia La Toye Miller for pre-trial arguments. They will be arguing that their actions blocking the water shut off trucks last July was legal, justified and necessary given the human rights violations and the dire health crisis by the shut-offs. It is possible Judge Miller could rule on that argument.
“We are arguing for a jury’s right to hear all the evidence of how our action was intended, and did, in fact, prevent what bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes has called an ‘irreparable harm’ to citizens of Detroit. Lives and health were imminently endangered. We acted in that knowledge and conviction,” said Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, pastor of St Peter’s Episcopal, one of the nine who is defending himself in the matter.
The group includes Marian Kramer of Michigan Welfare Rights, Marianne McGuire, a former member of the State Board of Education, Joan Smith of the Jeanie Wylie Community, Dr. James Perkinson of Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Kim Redigan theology faculty of a Detroit high school, Baxter Jones of Beat Back the Bullies Brigade (not yet charged), Hans Barbe, David Olson, and pastor Bill Wylie-Kellermann.
The majority of the nine are being defended by members of the National Lawyers Guild. An Amicus brief in support of the defendants will also be argued by attorneys from the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.
The mayor’s water assistance program has been acknowledged to be a failure based, in no small part on the fact that massive shut-offs scheduled to take place soon. The Homrich 9 and other Detroit water activists favor using the Water Affordability Plan approved by Detroit City Council in 2006.
Marian Kramer 313-471-9241
Julie Hurwitz 313-580-1443
Bill Wylie-Kellermann 313-433-1967