The Mountain Party, West Virginia’s Green Party affiliate, in the Northern Region donated $550 to the people of Paden City for the purchasing of water and medical tests for the town’s residents who are currently experiencing a water crisis.
According to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, “Late last month, the city-run water authority sent a notice to residents warning PCE, [a chemical commonly used in dry cleaning], was present in the water at nearly three times the federal limit. The notice stated the water was safe to drink in the short term, but could lead to long term health problems including an increased risk of cancer. City officials are working on a fix, but some residents are asking both how long they’ve been exposed to the chemical and if that exposure may have impacted their health.”
The issue of water contamination is unfortunately not new to West Virginia, and this most recent example in Paden City only proves to further demonstrate the immoralities of capitalism. Under the current system, basic human rights such as clean water and health services are not guaranteed and are instead held hostage by capitalists and governments for the sake of profit. The Mountain Party of West Virginia, therefore, calls for the socialization of the all critical infrastructure, including water and healthcare services. This means direct, democratic community control over all assets which are essential for the functioning of society and the livelihood of all citizens. The Mountain Party, furthermore, calls for the implementation of a process for recall elections, so that in the event that the elected officials of any polity fail to carry out their duties, they may be recalled by the citizens for a new election. For the citizens of Paden City, this would grant them the power to petition for the recall of any elected official which they feel has failed them during this current crisis.
Crises such as this will continue to occur so long as we do not hold out elected officials to account and so long as clean water and healthcare services are not guaranteed as human rights. A radical transformation of our political and economic systems is required in order for all citizens of Paden City and West Virginia more broadly to truly live wildly, wonderfully, and freely.