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NEWS: The ‘Indignados’ take aim at the World Water Forum, March 12-17

The Inter Press Service reports, “Still going strong in over 1000 cities around the world from the Occupiers to the Arab Spring activists, the persistence and successes of each movement seem to fuel the others. The next issue the indignados plan to fight is the privatisation of water, at the next World Water Forum in Marseille from March 12-17.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow explains, “The World Water Forum is convened by big business lobby organizations like the Global Water Partnership, the World Bank, and the leading for-profit water corporations on the planet. The discussions focus on how companies can benefit from selling water to markets around the world. While governments are present, they are not in charge.”

The IPS article notes, “For two years, organisers have been planning an Alternative World Water Forum, which will take place during the same week as the official meeting, just a few kilometres away. The people’s convergence plans to draw together numerous associations, experts and citizens to address the critical water issues that, Kim Le Quang, a young Belgian indignado, concluded, governments and international organisations have so far failed to solve.”

The Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project have also been very active in planning the Alternative World Water Forum (Forum Alternatif Mondial de l’Eau, FAME). Among our upcoming activities in Marseilles:

Friday March 9/ Saturday March 10
– participation in “Water, Planet and People, for a global citizenship” sessions organized by the France Libertés Foundation at the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Regional Council (9 am)

Monday March 12
– a civil society-government meeting on the implementation of the right to water with targeted outreach to the governments of Uruguay, Bolivia, Kenya, Ghana, Norway, Germany, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and the United States (4 pm)
– present the Canadian delegate to the World Water Forum a letter demanding that the right to water and sanitation is implemented in Canada

Tuesday March 13
– a Blue Planet Project planning meeting with our organizers based in India, South Africa and Mexico (10 am)
Wednesday March 14
– organizing “capacity building session and resistance training against the World Water Forum” (4:30 pm)
– Maude speaking at the opening plenary of the Forum Alternatif Mondial de l’Eau (7 pm)

Thursday March 15
– Maude speaking at an “implementation of the right to water” plenary (6:30 pm)
– the presentation of country-specific right to water reports from allies in India, Indonesia, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Palestine, Ghana and Europe to UN special rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque

Friday March 16
– participation at the “water, green economy & Rio+20″ session (6:30 pm)

Saturday March 17
– participation in a session on “the future of the water movement” (9 am)
– participation in the closing session of FAME (11 am)
– a statement on the World Water Forum ministerial declaration (afternoon)
– a protest march against the World Water Forum (afternoon)

Our web-page for our intervention at the World Water Forum can be read at http://canadians.org/wwf.