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E-M:/ RE: / Article on 9/14 protest at Ice Mountain bottling plant



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Enviro-Mich message from "Julie Metty Bennett" <jmettybennett@pscinc.com>
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...snip...
>All other water-bottling facilities in Michigan 
>are not permitted to sell their products outside 
>of the Great Lakes Basin, to ensure that the world's 
>largest source of fresh water does not become depleted. 

There is no prohibition on water bottlers selling their water outside of
the Great Lakes Basin, nor is there a prohibition on the sale of any
other product containing water (e.g., beer, pop, juice, paint,
pharmaceuticals, etc.). Instead of fighting against one another and
confusing the public with misinformation, we should all work together
and focus our energy on the development of a water withdrawal statute
for Michigan. 

____________________________________________
Julie Metty Bennett, Senior Consultant
Public Sector Consultants
Great Lakes Fishery Trust 
People and Land 
600 W St. Joseph, Lansing, MI 48933-2267
v: 517.484.4954, f: 484.6549



-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Ambrose [mailto:snakeman1549@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 7:21 PM
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: E-M:/ Article on 9/14 protest at Ice Mountain bottling plant


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Enviro-Mich message from Frank Ambrose <snakeman1549@yahoo.com>
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-

We shut down the plant again this past weekend. Here
is an article about the protest. Check it out and
pictures at both www.waterissweet.org and
www.michiganimc.org
---
Ice Mountain Plant Shut Down!
by max 

Sept 14, Mecosta County - Over 150 people showed up to
protest the privatization of water and the
exploitation of Michigan's natural resources at the
Netstle-owned Ice Mountain Bottled Water Plant in
Mecosta County, MI. 
Citizens marched from the carpool parking lot off
highway 131 down the road about one mile to the Ice
Mountain building, chanting and carrying signs reading
"Perrier: the taste of theft" and "Eagles can't drink
bottled water." Plant officials were aware of the
legal picket and rally and responded by shutting the
plant down, canceling all shipments and deliveries
scheduled for the day. 

The Ice Mountain Plant, which has a maximum pumping
capacity of 400 gallons per minute, is the only
bottled water plant which permanently removes water
from the Great Lakes Basin. All other water-bottling
facilities in Michigan are not permitted to sell their
products outside of the Great Lakes Basin, to ensure
that the world's largest source of fresh water does
not become depleted. 
A single truck showed up during the day, but was
forced to continue driving, as protesters had
physically occupied both driveways and tied a web of
yarn and flowers across them as well.

The issue at hand was the privatization of water and
other necessities for life, which has been happening
all around the world. Earlier this year, when seven
activists from the Sweetwater Alliance blockaded one
of the Ice Mountain driveways, an important goal was
to show solidarity with the citizens of Cochabamba,
Bolivia. Residents of Cochabamba have had their
municipal water supply privatized by the Bechtel
Corporation, leading to increases of 200% in water
prices and leaving many unable to afford water.
Bechtel was eventually forced to leave Bolivia, but is
now suing the government for over $12 million in a
World Court case. 
The Perrier plant in Mecosta County, while not
affecting municipal water systems, nevertheless
follows the traditional pattern of the privatization
of a natural resource: A large corporation uses its
money, influence and backing by the World Trade
Organization to gain a foothold in an area rich in
resources. In this case, Michigan water. This
corporation then packages the resource (Ice Mountain
water bottles) and sells this product at an inflated
price back to the communities that live in the area. 
It is this pattern that was being protested against on
Saturday. People from all areas of the state turned
out to make their opinions on this issue heard. The
overwhelming message was that the people will not
allow corporate bodies, or anyone or anything else, to
profit from the exploitation of natural resources.
Dave Schmidt, operations director for the Ice Mountain
plant, said during an interview on Saturday that
"water is a necessity for life." Clearly he and the
protesters differ in the most approriate course of
action to take regarding something so vital to all
life on this planet. The Ice Mountain website says,
"Ice Mountain makes everything taste refreshing." Not
so for the protesters, whose slogan is "Water for
life. Not for Profit." 
Besides the protest, other actions have been taken to
spread this alternative message of corporate
privatization on natural resources. The Sweetwater
Alliance is organizing a statewide boycott of Ice
Mountain, Perrier and Nestle products. Swiss-owned
Nestle is the parent company of both Perrier and Ice
Mountain. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is
currently engaged in two legal battles to force Ice
Mountain to cease its Mecosta County operations. 


See also:
http://www.waterissweet.org
http://www.savemiwater.org

Related on the newswire:
Ice Mountain Protest Pics (1/3)
Ice Mountain Protest Pics (2/3)
Ice Mountain Protest Pics (3/3)



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