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Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 11:51 PM
Subject: [imcmi] stop perrier april 6
********Please circulate widely*******
CALL TO ACTION
STOP PERRIER Corporation
from selling Michigan's water for Profit!
Our Water is Not a Commodity!
April 6, 2002, 12pm
Meet at high noon at the car-pool parking lot off the Stanwood Exit (off US-131,) south of Big Rapids, MI.
March and legal picket on the Ice Mountain/Perrier bottling plant, speakers, food, and music to follow. Bring friends, signs, musical instruments and your own water bottle. Wear blue and share your ride if you can.
About this LOCAL and GLOBAL struggle:
Swiss-based Perrier Corp. (a subsidiary of Nestle) intends to begin operating it's nearly completed 250,000 sq. ft. water bottling facility in central Michigan sometime in the upcoming weeks. They would be pumping up to 720,000 gallons per day from the heart of the Great Lakes basin at a profit of as much as $1.8 million dollars per day. Up to 65% of the water sold by Perrier (under the brand name Ice Mountain) will be consumed outside the Great Lakes Basin. None of this money will return to the community. In fact, the state and local township have given Perrier $10.5 million in tax abatements to set up shop. All of this has been done despite broad-based citizen opposition. Selling Michigan's water for private gain is a violation of the public trust.
The implications of the sale of water-for-profit are immense. Under internaional trade laws and agreemtments (WTO, NAFTA) water is not considered a right, but rather it is defined as a potential commodity.
This is a precedent-setting battle. The "export and diversion" of water which would occur should the Perrier Plan go forward, would open the flood-gates for the sale of Great Lakes water by other corporations whose objective is profit, not the well being of the public and the planet. What we want is democratic control over our basic life-sustaining resources.
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (www.savemiwater.org) are suing Perrier at the state level. Three Michigan tribes have a suit pending in
federal court. Likewise, citizens from around the state will meet April 6 to show that we do not want this plan. We must act now before it is too late.
Why is this so serious?
"The wars of the future will be fought over water." Ismail Serageldin, V.P. World Bank
"At the heart of the matter is the fundamental question, is water a right or a commodity? If it is a right, then an international system must ensure access to enough clean water to sustain communities and the environment. If water is a commodity, then it can be bought and sold like any other, hoarded or squandered by those with enough cash and denied to those too
poor to pay."
Chris Ney, Nor Any Drop to Drink: the Fight for Water in Bolivia, published in Non-Violent Activist, The Magazine of the War Resisters League.
*Global consumption of water is doubling every twenty years, twice the rate of the human population.
*More than one billion people on earth already lack access to fresh drinking water; approximately five million people die per year due to lack of clean water. (UN statistics)
*If the trend persists, by 2025 the demand for fresh water is expected to rise by 56 percent.
*As the demand for water intensifies, governments around the world under pressure from multinational corporations (like Perrier) are advocating a
radical solution: the commodification and mass transport of water.
*Twenty percent of the earth's fresh water is in the Great Lakes.
For more info about water and international trade agreements visit United for a Fair Economy's site: www.ufenet.org
Support Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation in their legal battle:
PASS IT ON
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