Aug 27, 2019

Protestors Gather Outside MTV VMA’s For Newark Water Crisis

Newark Water Crisis continues as protestors demand change at MTV VMA’s

Newark Water Crisis continues as protestors demand change at MTV VMA’s

On Aug. 27, approximately 200 New Jersey residents protested outside the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.’s business district, where MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMA) were being held, to raise awareness and demand change regarding elevated lead levels in the city’s water, according to the Huffington Post

“We don’t need no MTV. We want our water free!” the crowd chanted outside the venue, according to the Huffington Post.

A recent water quality analysis showed lead levels have been elevated in Newark water since 2017, according to The Hill. However, some tests cast doubt on the effectiveness of 39,000 water filters distributed by the city. According to The Hill, Newark officials began handing out bottled water to residents in August 2019. 

“We are ready to fight for clean water for Newark, we have been suffering for years, many years, crying out for help to our elected officials who have not stepped up to save us,” said Shakima Thomas, one organizer of the demonstration in a video, according to The Hill

According to the Huffington Post, Newark officials recently announced a $120 million plan to speed up the replacement of old service lines that are leaching lead into Newark’s drinking water.

“The city aims to replace 18,000 service lines in the next 24 to 30 months” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. 

According to The New York Times, the project will be the largest water line replacement project attempted by New Jersey.