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Protesters crowd governor's office, demand bottled water for Flint

About 100 protesters gathered in the lobby of Gov. Rick Snyder's office building on Tuesday, demanding to meet with him over their request he continue providing bottled water to Flint residents.  

"Everyone just wants to say the Flint Water Crisis is over when we all know that it isn't," said Joelena Freeman, a Flint resident who attended the protest.  

It was organized by Michigan United, a statewide coalition that fights for the dignity and potential of every person, according to its website. Communications Coordinator Erik Shelley said the event was part of Michigan United's event "The People's Lobby Day," where everyday Michiganders make their voices heard instead of the monied lobbyists that lawmakers may hear from otherwise.  

"The purpose of capitol day is to empower the people," Shelley said.  

The state government announced the end of bottled water distribution in April, citing testing data showed Flint's water quality was below federal action levels for two years. 

Protesters chanted things like "Flint is under class war" and "no Nestle water for Flint."  

Nestle drew public outrage for its recent permit to withdraw up to 400 gallons of Michigan water per minute to produce bottled water products. The company paid a $5,000 application fee and will pay a $200 per year reporting fee. The company has been sending bottled water to Flint.  

Freeman said it was insulting that residents were being charged for water they didn't trust while Nestle got to withdraw large amounts of the state natural resource.  

"We feel like they sent us blood water... they're getting it basically for free," Freeman said.  

Some protesters held up water bottles filled with red liquid. 

The protesters gathered in the lobby of the governor's office for about 40 minutes before they said they were denied a meeting and moved on. Shelley said they also planned a protest at the Department of Environmental Quality Tuesday afternoon.

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