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Trude  Fredag 20. April 2012, kl. 10:48

Av Martin Varden

Report from  FAME 2012, 14. -17. March 2012 in Marseille, France.
Forum Alternatif Mondial de l’Ëau
Wednesday March 14
Opening session

The UN stating that drinking water is a human right is a major achievement for our cause.

Water is priceless, but has to have e price for technical facilitating and distribution. What we fight is the added value for profit and multiple forms of corruption. Water is the ultimate merchandise. also promoted as such by neoliberal governments in many countries. The problem is largely political. we need social approaches defending nature/life, fighting poverty and privatisation of water and nature.

We need to put pressure on governments. If all governments wished so, the problem would be solved. Instead we have hunger, plagues etc. The struggle must continue to make governments accountable.

Media coverage: More than 2000 have been looking up the website of the Forum.
Jose Bové questions the legitimacy of the Davos conference.
Supporting groups. Women’s groups, environmental groups etc
We need new groups of society re-inventing the world.

Maud Barlow
The World Water Forum / WW Council is going down.
It is our turn. Human right to water and sanitation.
Every part of nature is to be protected.
Conflict in Canada on natural resources.

No types of institutional protection makes it more dangerous for us.
many governments are ignoring our fights.
Our fight is for a free world.

We want access to water for everybody (including every woman.
There are
·   Hygienic problems
·   no access to land
·   women’s emancipation
·   development depends on water
·   water for life and not for profit

Unions, church, a lot of organisations stopped the privatisation, but the present president want change. no pollution control in place. Lack of qualified personnel.

Anne Le Straat
Sharing of responsibilities. Citizenship. Values for water. Shared networks. Public services. Water – a political issue.

The Italian referendum.
The  water to be a common good brought it to the center of the political attention.
the next move will be to make the local municipalities to change the local companies back into public companies.      Water is the word – Democracy is the meaning

Thursday 15. March
Community solutions for Water Management’
40 % of the land is turned into desert.
Capitalism works from lack and scarcity.
Nature works opposite.
the current system is obsolete.
Brake the power of capitalism for a new type of global peace.

90 % illiterate.
No access to sanitation
The lake has no drinking quality.
The government wanted to privatise of lack of money. Problem with democracy in Africa.
Through NGOs and together we can avoid exploitation.

150-200 meters down to the present ground water table. Mismanagement of 44 000 lakes and ponds. the public authorities have concentrated on building dams instead of monitoring the lakes and ponds.
Important to shift from monocrops to diverse cropping pattern.

Water has disappeared from the city planning. Water hidden in pipelines. Fountains disappeared. Impermeable surfaces. Regulated rivers. Rivers enemy or friend? re-open the rivers. Develop the water a common good – more visible. Many communities seem to argue in favour of the “efficiency” of private property.

Paraguy – 100 000 km2
6 million people – 60 % illiterate. 
·   Many people have a lot of land
·   Many people have  little or no land
The water of the rivers was drinkable until the large companies built the factories and dams.
Dictatorship since 2008.
Traditionally the language is a way to express nature. movements were labelled communist and repressed. Native people needed to be saved and baptized.
Irrigation took the water away from the people. Lifestyle is damaged. People have to find out what they want..

Water basins are drying out. Performance of municipal water services needs to improve. A lot of monoculture (such as potatoes) has been “solved” by pesticides.

Other key subjects
·   Food Sovereignty
·   Stop the water grabbing.
·   Niger, Mexico – peasants should have the power
·   rights of Palestinians
·   collective droite femme

Friday 16. March
Jack Pireu - Water and democracy
Municipal services not aims but means.
Red water, red Democracy Water University

A lot of initiatives did not give water as a common good. 4300 signatures had no effect. Only the referendum made a difference and tuned up the engagement. Finally 95 % of the votes for the water to be publicly owned and managed.

Berlin and Stuttgart 
Massive activist work made it possible to buy back the water,
the contract was for 30 years. A profit of 11 % gave the total investment back after 12 years, so for 20 years the contract would bring in millions and millions of Euros.
The contracts were secret.
The Berlin referendum gave 666 000 votes. hopes are that this is a boomerang to Veolia and RWE.

No political parties, no press, no labour unions were any help.
Few activists were members of other organisations.

Water issue.  ) million people have no drinking water. Abundance of water in Colombia.
Parliament is working for the far right.
Established in the Constitution that water is a human right.
Protect the ecological cycle – avoid deforestation
Congress refuse to accept referendum. Human right must back into the agenda.

People have no access o water.
Absence of democracy.
Absence of transparency.
Tourists, high income people and exporting industries are given priority.
Government gave the water rights to a private company.
ACME working to include the UN resolution into the Constitution.

Government allowed privatising.
Movement to bring in the Public, activating workers, managers etc.
Canal 100 % public  35 diff. companies  - energy production
Claim for Italian type of referendum.

Water gradually privatised. Hungerstrikes. Occupation of companies.
In Greece one must bring your own medicine to the hospitals.
Movement of indignators of Greece. Water is given away compared to the profits.

Greece, Thessaloniki – 1 500 000 inhabitants
Big water supplies are state owned. All technical equipment belonged to the state.
Distribution and running and management was to be by EYATH. Increased privatisation was stopped in 2009, but now 40 % of the running with an additional 34 % by the end of 2012 is proposed privatised.

The railway in Greece has a yearly deficit of 1000 million Euro. Nobody  is interested in buying.

Saturday 17. March
Closing session.
Specific proposals
Green economy

Emphasise international finance/banking.
Aggressive marketing of water management to use the Rio Conference to work for transnational control.

Rio 15, 0 23 June (Rio + 20)
   Marketing green economy
   Occupy the transnational companies
   Civil disobedience

Dorothy from Berlin
Water → Democracy
Another type of vision – Public management – Democratic
We cannot leave it to those who govern  us.
We have to be actives and not victims.
We have more legitimacy
Work at legal spheres
More organized
Organize in a more transversal way
Respecting our way of doing things
Our logo – Written Water, but reads democracy
Not only politics, but more practical, not only complaints
Be organized
Share experiences
Build up our initiatives in the different fields

Germany – Sarkozy – Merkel
They call us to cut also social expenses to reduce the dept.
Diese ist nicht unseres dept.
Get the profit out of all public services.
To resist all those fiscal powers.
To put pressure on banks.
Block the financial centers

Re-municipalisation – large and vibrant movement  (250 different communities)
Water mafia has stolen our language:
·   water for all
·   green
·   no water trading

Take back the language

Women and water
Calls for healthy water
Hold the companies to account

Other speakers from a number of countries gave remarks and info on their main issues before we went to the huge demonstration with a festive parade, musicians, dancers, posters and celebration with performances and calls for action by the harbour.