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PNS Daily Newscast - June 18, 2018 


First Lady Melania Trump makes statement against separating kids from parents. Also on the Monday rundown: Anti-hunger advocates applaud the newest Farm Bill: plus diaper duty an economic burden for 1-in-3 families.

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Poor People’s Campaign Wraps MI DEQ in Crime Scene Tape

Police arrested dozens of protesters Monday after they wrapped the MI DEQ building in crime scene tape following a march and rally. (Valerie Blakely/MI Poor People's Campaign)
Police arrested dozens of protesters Monday after they wrapped the MI DEQ building in crime scene tape following a march and rally. (Valerie Blakely/MI Poor People's Campaign)
June 5, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – About 500 protesters marched on the Capitol building and then wrapped crime tape around the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Lansing on Monday to draw attention to environmental crises - part of a 40-city nationwide protest called the Poor People's Campaign.

Speakers at the rally called attention to the continuing problem of lead-poisoned water in Flint and the proposal to allow a Canadian oil company to put in a new Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

Valerie Blakely, an organizer with the Michigan Poor People's campaign, says the event is a national call for more moral public policy that protects citizens and the environment.

"A most important thing is to kind of put the higher-ups and the people who think that they are in charge on notice that we're not taking it anymore," she says. "We need water for our people. We need homes for our people. We need food for people."

The Michigan Safety Net Coalition organized a day of action in Detroit focusing on expanding access to assistance programs such as SNAP and to health-care via Medicaid. First Presbyterian Church in Lansing is holding additional events for the next two Mondays in June.

Blakely says another major issue is a move each spring by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to cut off service to families that fall behind on their bills.

"Water is simply not affordable in Detroit," she adds. "It costs more for water in Detroit than it does in all of the surrounding communities that our water system actually provides water for."

The campaign will not support specific candidates in the upcoming midterm elections but will encourage all candidates to address progressive issues. You can get more information at poorpeoplescampaign.org.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MI