82Free was present for the Water For Flint Rally formally labeled “The Environmental Justice Rally” February 1, 2016 hosted by Pastor Ezra L. Tillman Jr. at the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Jamal Bryant, Russell Simmons, Attorney Phaedra Parks, Attorney Benjamin Crump, Mayor Karen Weaver, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Pastor David Bullock, and a host of community organizers and residents gathered to rally for immediate action to resolve the water crisis.
Flint mayor Karen Weaver described the city of Flint best when she stated ” We are like a bird whose wings have been clipped” during her welcoming address and later stated “We will rise up and we will fly again”. Mrs. Ashley Liddell-Ruffin whose daughter has been affected by the issues with the contaminated water in Flint spoke passionately about her journey to nurse her daughter back to health and her day to day struggles with water as a resident in the city of Flint. “Flint is strong! Flint is proud, and we the citizens of Flint aren’t going to settle until we get new pipes!” proclaimed Liddell-Ruffin. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center, stated that “water is a today issue; we need to invest in tomorrow” while talking about the need for medical centers to help aid in the growth and development for the children affected by the crisis and her role in sounding the alarm about the elevated lead levels found in the blood of many children she provides treatment to. Business mogul and hip-hop activist Russell Simmons spoke emphatically about the needs for proper nutrion while expressing his continued support for the city of Flint and clarion call for hip-hop artist to join him to assist in the effort.
Local activist have mobilized to rally at the state capital in Lansing, MI on Monday February 8, 2016 to demand justice and expedited efforts to restore clean water to the city of Flint.