Protesters camping out in Flint park - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Protesters camping out in Flint park


A local community may take action against protesters camped out in a park. 

A group called "Camp Promise" is living in tents at Flint's Kearsley Park. One of the organizers said members are reaching out to the community to fix up homes, to help residents with the water crisis and to spread a valuable message. 

"We work on three principals here. Our foundation is compassion, respect and love. And, uh, that's pretty much the agenda here," Aron Block said. 

The group has been camped out at the park for 18 days. Members said they will remain at the park until the people of Flint can run their faucets and drink clean water.

While some members are local, others are from as far away as Australia. 

"We've got people from around the world asking questions. They did not realize that the people of Flint still do not have clean water," said Ryan Loree, organizer.

Loree is from Swartz Creek, but was raised in Flint. He said issues like access to health care and a speedy replacement of lead tainted pipes are key concerns.

"They know that they have the money to get these pipes fixed, but what they're doing is they're splitting these contracts up. If we get this company, one local company to get this done, the unions have already said they can get this done now," Loree said.

Loree said they plan on staying in the park until the crisis is fixed.

The group has attracted a following on social media, including new comers like Elijah Lutzke from Battle Creek.

"I've never really done anything like this before. So I came here that night I found out about it and I've just been staying ever since," Lutzke said.

Lutzke was one of several people arrested at a recent town hall meeting on the water crisis. He said those arrests helped start a movement. Now the campers are hoping to keep it going.

"I think that just started something that's going to go in our favor," Lutzke said.

Organizers said they maintain a drug free, alcohol free and violence free zone.

The chief of police said the campers are in violation of a park ordinance saying they can't be there past 10 p.m. He said most complaints are coming from neighbors, however, he does not plan to take action at this time. 

He said police will be monitoring the situation. 

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