Alternative World Water Forum

Denouncing the murderous attack to Greek anti-mining activists in Megali Panagia, Chalkidiki: The struggle for water and nature is a struggle for life and will always prevail!

Think of the following scenario, typical up to now in countries in Latin America: A government in debt to the banks is under surveillance by the FMI and applies neoliberal austerity measures that provoke recession and drive the majority of the population into unemployment and poverty. The “salvation” promoted by the government and the mass media is foreign investment that will supposedly bring along “growth” and jobs for everyone. Only this “growth” is nothing more than the privatisation of all commons and public goods, and their transformation into marketable products for the profit of the multinational companies. Forests, beaches, water and natural resources are privatised and turned into commodities. The citizens and local communities resist and reject all efforts to privatise the commons. The response of the multinational companies is violent, either through mercenary thugs or state repression.

Are the stories of the struggles of local communities in Bolivia, India, Argentina or Turkey any different from what happened two days ago in the north of Greece, in Chalkidiki?

Several hundred men on the payroll of “Greek Gold S.A.”, a subsidiry of Canadian company “European Goldfields”, attacked a group of local activists that are defending the virgin forests of Chalkidiki against the construction of a mine that will irreversibly poison the land and water and destroy the future of the local community. One of the defenders is right now in the hospital struggling for his life.

Is this any different than the cold-blooded assassination in March 15 of Bernardo Vasquez, an activist defending the community of San Jose del Progreso, Oaxaca, Mexico, against the construction of a mine by another Canadian company, “Fortuna Silver Mines”?

We think not. It is the same struggle of thousands of local communities that are defending land and water against privatisation, and the same violence that we have to endure, whether we are from Cochabamba, Bolivia, from San Felix, Panama, from San Jose, Mexico or from Megali Panagia, Greece.

Fear and violence will not prevail! Love for life is stronger than terror. We would like to share our conviction that we wil be victorious with all our friends that are defending the lands of Megali Panagia, Stagira, Akanthos, Rodopi, Krousia-Paiko and Vasova against corporate expropriation. We would like to extend our solidarity to everyone fighting neoliberalism in Latin America, Europe and around the world.

Dear friends: Your struggle for the defense of land and water is also ours. On these critical moments we extend 136 thousand embraces to all of you.

Initiative 136

Thessaloniki, March 24, 2012.

Categories: Global stories