The Idavox Report: The Jackson, Mississippi Water Crisis

Welcome to the #Idavox Report on Revolution Radio

Hello and welcome to Revolution Radio! It is Tuesday night at 8PM and you know what that means. Let’s get to the Idavox Report! Brian Powers, Christian Perez, and Daryle Lamont Jenkins begin the show by intentionally neglecting to talk about the royal family. Daryle would prefer to stay on the ground in America. The COVID relief bill is supposed to be passing now, although not a single senate Republican voted in favor of it. 

The Corrupt System

Although it is arguably good that this bill has finally passed, it would be even better if we got a decent minimum wage, too. Brian remembers that we’ve been fighting for 15 since 2011. In October, it will have been 10 years since the Occupy Wall Street Movement began. That was a movement that showed us that we the people at the grassroots can indeed have a say in our own destinies instead of relying on a corrupt political process.

Speaking of corrupt politics, the storm in Texas caught the attention of the nation just a few weeks ago as the situation was mismanaged brutally by those in power. The terrible leadership doesn’t end in Texas, though. Mississippi, specifically, the city of Jackson, has been suffering from corrupt leadership for a long time. Not enough people are talking about it and that’s why the Idavox Report is here. 

Calandra Davis

Tonight, we are going to bring on someone who is from the area and understands the struggles of communities in Jackson. Her name is Calandra Davis, and Daryle met her when was looking into Antifa in Mississippi. Calandra tells us that there was a storm in Mississippi, too.

The Jackson area as a whole experienced a storm. The ice, snow, wind, and cold shut many functions of the city down. This on top of the already existing pandemic and racism experienced by the locals created exacerbated problems. Essentially, Jackson experienced a compounded economic crisis.

[March 9 Idavox Report With Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Brian Powers, Christian Perez, and Special Guest Calandra Davis]

Jackson, Mississippi in Crisis

People are going on their fourth week without clean water. There are still a few folks without water at all. Calandra informs us that the majority of these people are Black or Brown. In Jackson, locals are stepping up to provide mutual aid because legislators are failing them. Among other politicians, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves failed to call a state of emergency at an appropriate time, leading to disastrous consequences. 

The mayor of Jackson distributed water to citizens in need, but this is not enough. Local government should be making sure people don’t have to pay ridiculously high water bills for water that wasn’t even clean or usable. Calandra and other members of Antifa in Mississippi have come together with organizations such as BLM in this time in order to try to distribute clean water. 

Effective Assistance

Some families that were in need received direct payments as assistance. The far right often says that you can’t give poor people money. However, the government has not stepped up and provided any meaningful help to these people, so Calandra and other activists had to step in. Some families were hesitant to ask for help, but there’s nothing wrong with needing it, especially since their elected officials are failing them. 

This storm will not be a one-time event. Similar storms will probably occur, especially with climate change affecting the weather. Calandra predicts that people will need to be strategic in order to stay on top of things. This means staying connected and being in collaboration with people who know how to respond effectively.

When it comes to news about Jackson, Mississippi, you hear a lot about progressive politics but you don’t hear that much about actual change. Although this storm made everything worse and brought some attention to the environmental racism affecting Jackson, this is actually a decades-old issue. There was already an existing white supremacist power structure in Mississippi. 

How Can We Help?

The people who were impacted by the storm are still trying to find solutions. Trees fell on houses, pipes burst; people were staying in hotels – bills rack up. There will always be a need for money. As well as being on the ground, Jackson needs more volunteers. Through The BYP100 (Black Youth Project) Calandra and other volunteers have already conducted over 30,000 wellness checks wherein they discovered several old people trapped in their homes. However, they still haven’t checked everyone.

Getting Involved

Calandra tells us that unfortunately, since summer, there have not been many protests in Jackson. Between the pandemic and the cold weather, the circumstances make it very difficult to gather to protest. However, just because large outdoor protests are not tactical right now doesn’t mean people have an excuse not to take action. There are many efforts. The BYP has been showing up at city council members’ offices and police departments in Mississippi to engage in direct action and hold them accountable.

If you want to help, you can get involved through the BYP100 website. The BYP100 is a national organization that is currently working in collaboration with other groups in Jackson, Mississippi for many of their efforts.

A lot of COVID relief money has gone to police departments around the country and Jackson is no different. Meanwhile, their infrastructure is crumbling. Therefore, when the citizens of Jackson talk about police abolition, they are talking about a safer city with more funds for essential resources. This would mean access to food, housing, water, and ample financial opportunities.

Plugs

Calandra has a Twitter account and you can reach her directly by email. She can plug you with the right people, whether you want to help with food donations, water supply, direct action, etc. 

Daryle is a member of the Antifascist Unity Coalition. AFUC is involved with several mutual aid projects and food banks. If you are interested in the organization or getting connected with mutual aid, contact Daryle or visit http://daysofunity.org/. They host food drives on the first Saturday of every month.

Idavox is the newsline for One People’s Project and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, or their website. One People’s Project can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Daryle himself is on Facebook and Twitter. The One People’s Project also accepts donations through Daryle’s Cash App account, $NotoriousDLJ.

Until next time, everyone, stay safe and stay informed.

-Leah Giannantonio, for Revolution Radio and The Idavox Report

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