Water rights are a growing issue across this nation. We hear about the drought in California and the battle between corporations, farmers and private citizens rights to water. Water rights have become an issue in cities such as Detroit, MI. where the poor are being denied water.
In Alabama, Water is treated as property in the Common Law. http://www.rivercenter.uga.edu/education/practicum/documents/draft_cahaba_river_nwr_water_rights.pdf and The Code of Alabama about water Section9-10B http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm
The right to water of the poor in this case becomes a question of government enforcing law, where a landlord has received money for payment. Instead of punishing innocent victims of a crime committed against them, government must focus their attention on the criminal, not penalize innocent victims.
In our nation people do not serve government, government must serve the people. This argument is as old as our nation itself. Water rights and rights of individuals living on property of another have been an issue at law in Alabama since slavery was abolished and tenants have lived on the property of another. In the 21st Century we would hope and pray that human rights have progressed since the formation of Common Law in England. However, in this case there seems to be a disconnect between political leadership and the rights of the poor in our community. Either Scottsboro Leadership sets an example that there will be no tolerance given to slum landlords, or they demonstrate their values toward support of a time in the past which includes Jim Crow, abusive practices toward the poor and victimization of the poor. The difference here is, the poor will not sit by in apathy and put up with the abusive practices of errant people, that includes government officials or private citizens.
More on the issue below.