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Reports on the World Water Forum in Turkey

As you may know, the World Water Forum is starting in Istanbul, Turkey today. The Council of Canadians has sent national chairperson Maude Barlow, Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo and national water campaigner Meera Karunananthan there to speak out against the World Water Forum’s water privatization agenda and in support of water as a human right.

On Saturday the right-wing FOX News reported that, “Maude Barlow, attending the conference in her official role as the U.N.’s ‘water czar,’ will help lead at least 200 activists in protests and demonstrations against the weeklong World Water Forum…”

“Critics say Barlow, 61, is pushing a radical agenda from within the U.N. She is also the head of the Council of Canadians, an organization opposed to free trade that objects to American influence in Canada. The Council is paying her way to Istanbul, though Barlow will be appearing in her official U.N. role.”

This article can be read at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,509223,00.html

The Associated Press reported on Sunday that, “Climate change, the global economic meltdown and the role of big water companies are on the agenda for thousands of delegates at a conference this week in Turkey focused on the world’s water resources.”

“Some non-governmental organizations accuse the forum of serving as a vehicle for big water companies to promote their own interests through privatization, denying the ‘human right’ to water in impoverished communities around the world.”

“‘It’s really a big trade show,’ said Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project, an Ottawa, Canada-based group that seeks to protect fresh water. ‘They deeply believe that water is a commodity to be bought and sold.'”

This can be read at http://www.newser.com/article/d96uf7g00/climate-change-woes-at-heart-of-turkey-water-meet.html

About two hours ago, Anil wrote that, “Turkish police violently attacked a peaceful protest by water activists. A number of Turkish friends were arrested and people were gassed and shot with rubber bullets. Water cannons were used and a number of people were arrested. We are currently working on a prison action to demand release and are going to question the head of the World Water Council at a press conference. This is repression is a clear example of why the World Water Forum must be shut down and a truly open and democratic forum is needed to replace it.”

We will have updates throughout the week.