SAVEGREEKWATER at World Social Forum 2013 in Tunisia

SAVEGREEKWATER at World Social Forum 2013 in Tunisia

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[box] Read about all the activities of SAVEGREEKWATER in the context of The World Social Forum 2013 of Tunisia and watch relative videos and photos.[/box]

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SAVEGREEKWATER participated in the World Forum of Tunisia with 2 propositions & 2 interventions

On the first day, before the official start of the forum there was organized a workshop under the title WATER JUSTICE DAY. In this we were the only speakers from Europe and briefly presented the Greek case as the current sample behavior of Europe in its own Member States and the potential it carries in its relations with the Third World.

water justice day

On the launch of the forum on 26 march we participated in 3.5 hours march shouting slogans concerning water as a collective good in various languages : in greek “το νερό είναι ζωή”, in French “L’eau source de vie pas de profit” (the language spoken by most Tunisians) , in spanish E l ‘agua non se vende, el’ agua se defiende ” proposed by Argentinian delegates all in great rhythm. In this march activists & collectives from Italy, Canada, Argentina, India, Chile, America, Spain and other countries took part.

tunis forum march

On the following day we participated in all discussions and workshops of the day, starting with “the truth behind hydraulic fracturing – building alliances with new movements in countries affected by fracking” in which we were informed on the impact gas extraction process on water resources , on the movements already operating in various parts of the world and the cooperation needed to build an international network in the fight against fracking due to the additional scientific difficulty of the issue. Then we attended the Roundtable on water as a commons and a human right in which we discussed for strategies we can use to promote the right to water access as it was voted at the UN focusing on pressure to be exerted at EU to accept the right on water as a public good and having a brief reference to the Greek case.

roundtable on water right

The next day we followed the proceedings of “Climate Space – Commodification and Financilization of Nature: Green Economy, Carbon Markets & REDD and new threats for water and other commons” . During the topic conclusions from earlier discussions were presented as well as briefings from different regions of the world took place & difficulties related to movements due to the difficult “techno-language” used to fence public goods and discussed. Antonio Tricarico from Italy  (photo) made an excellent presentation on how markets create financial “bubbles” concerning nature and its goods which have limited life cycle, a fact already known to their creators who just move on to the following ones after collapse. There has been an extensive report on the topic of attempted water market creation and “water pollution trading rights”, another bubble corresponding to Carbon Emission Trade.

financilization of nature

Subsequently we participated in the discussion of Water Democracy in open discussion format. Collaboration between movements, trade unions and NGOs was already the axis of this topic, put by the organizers, a fairly limited axis in relation to the topic title. Discussion focused on casuistry of what happens in every country and did not come to the grounds of the limits and possibilities of collaboration. Our intervention was “If we want to discuss collaboration we should be honest and do self-criticism. To admit that most unions look solely to the interests of their members rather than to protect water as a commons, that many large NGOs have dependencies on capital that is active on the issue, which restricts them from taking clear positions on many issues and many movements are arrogant or completely hostile to NGOs and unions nevertheless in good reasoning. If NGOs and trade unions could manage well their civil society duties then the “indignados” movement would not fill up all squares across the south of Europe. So if there is to be some sort of collaboration it should be build on mutual trust through joint operations and efforts and not by one or the other side  abandoning the common struggle. Our example speaks for the record. Us, we work with realism with one of the 12 EYDAP unions, the one that we stood together on the streets against privatization and with those NGOs on European level that have clear positions and action against privatization since Greek small or larger NGOs are not publicly and openly against privatization. Ultimately it ‘d be to our benefit to understand that we cannot win any battle alone. Interdependence is granted. Neither unions can achieve it all alone, nor NGOs can exist if there isn’t a part of people who care about their purpose and last, neither the movements can succeed without help on issues such as the monitoring of jurisprudence at EU that some NGOs exercise daily and internal information about the companies thatonly union members have access to. “

Then were interviewed from “glob radio” in French and gave brief statements in English for the World Social Forum TV that acted as a reportage free distribution database for all major worldwide media.

Next day started with the “Global Solidarity against water Grabs through Dam projects and Mining. Case studies from Kurdistan, Iraq, Peru and India” during which we presented a 2 minute update on the case of chalkidiki-Skouries goldmine and inquired for studies of the impact on water to other countries with goldmines. Then we were invited to make a proposition on” Engaging Youth for the implementation of the right to water” organized by 2 youth networks. After a short briefing on the greek case, we presented a description of a quick methodology on how to hold a campaign without money in short steps.

The choice for the submission was rather successful, since most of the young people present wanted more information and asked for our contacts. So did people and unions from Africa that found that piece of information extremely useful & practical. A quick pass (considering the tight time schedule) from “Europe Destrοy Austerity before it destroys democracy” topic followed . We discussed the upcoming Alter Summit on 7 and 8 June in Athens. There ‘a meeting back in Athens on the 3rd of April concerning how to organize this summit and there has been a discussion of the European water movement about it. At the end of the day “the convergence of climate space” took place and summaries of all topics were presented in a full auditorium between slogans and songs .

convergence climate spaceConvergence Cimate Space

On the last day there was a march but the exhausted SAVEGREEKWATER chose to make a short visit to the archaeological site of Carthago. Walking again, but this time in an effort for a substantial contact with the history and culture of Tunisia & the stunned Tunisians who welcomed for a few days 50.000 people from all over the planet flooding the streets of downtown Tunis!

A that point Tanit showed up in the form of a cat and wished us with a tail gesture all the best to our fight to save the water of Greece, Europe and the whole world with the help of our comrades from all around the globe!



More on WSF 2013 Tunisia

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Initiative for the non privatization of water in Greece


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