Thousands join one-mile march for clean water - WNEM TV 5

Thousands join one-mile march for clean water

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Protesters packed metropolitan community church in Flint, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Jackson called for the state of Michigan to use their huge surplus for the residents of Flint.

“They need to open it up and pay up,” Jackson said.

Also in attendance, reality television personality Judge Terrance Mathis.

“I am here because I am needed. I am needed to let you all know we need to fight back,” Mathis said.

Thousands joined the civil rights icon as they marched to the spot where their water supply was supposed to be made safe to drink: the Flint water treatment plant.

Lifelong Flint resident Vicki Watkins made the one-mile march with her family and her two young granddaughters. Watkins said the dangers of the ongoing water crisis in Flint is something everyone needs to be aware of, especially children. 

“And it's important that they know and that we teach our children and they know the hazards of the water,” Watkins said.

Former Philadelphia Police Capt. Ray Lewis has traveled across the country to protest in places like Ferguson and New York where he arrested for taking part in an Occupy Wall Street protest.

Lewis said what's happened to Flint residents is a gross injustice.

Like many of the protesters signs proclaimed, the former police captain believes the governor and state officials should be charged criminally.

"And I can guarantee you Gov. [Rick] Snyder would never have piped this water into a rich, white, affluent suburban area,” Lewis said.

As the people of Flint continue their fight for clean water, Jackson had this message: “Non-violence, discipline and focus. We will win.”

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