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Maude Barlow at the World Water Forum

Al Jazeera reports from the World Water Forum in Istanbul that, “UN water elder-stateswoman, Maude Barlow, offered her views on the corporate world’s relationship with the dwindling water supply. ‘Water must be a public trust and belong to everyone. No one should be allowed to appropriate it for private profit while others are dying for the lack of it.’ The issues, she said, were conservation and water justice. ‘If you are in the ‘water business’, you cannot move towards those two goals,’ she said. (Greg Coch, managing director of Coca-Cola’s Global Water Stewardship and Environmental Water Resource Programme) observed afterwards ‘It’s good to look the enemy in the eye.’ It is only day one and already the battle lines are being drawn.”

As of 2009, Al Jazeera’s English-language service is available to 130 million homes in over 100 countries via cable and satellite.

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Additionally, AlterNet reports today that, “A block of southern governments led by Uruguay is building support for an alternative, legitimate forum to be led by the United Nations, and high-profile civil society voices such as Maude Barlow are calling for this to be the last World Water Forum.”

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Wenonah Hauter of the US-based group Food and Water Watch wrote in a list serve posting this morning that, “Earlier today, Maude Barlow and I were walking with two journalists to be interviewed and some VIPs were coming in the door from a fancy car and this woman shoved us and almost knocked Maude over. Being here gives one a sense of what its like to live in a police state where there is no freedom of speech.”

Maude also noted in an e-mail this morning that she will be interviewed on Democracy Now!, and will be on CNN tomorrow. Democracy Now! is “a daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 750 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.”

The Democracy Now! website is http://www.democracynow.org/