News and Updates

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The Rising Water in Bolivia and Latin America by Marcela Olivera

The following piece is an early submission for the Stop Veolia Zine Project. SVS is still accepting short research articles, stories, interviews, illustrations, comics, photographs, drawings, anything that you think helps to tell the story of Veolia and resistances to its corporatization of public services.  Deadline for submissions is May 15th.

The Rising Water in Bolivia and Latin America

Marcela at the Veolia headquarters in France

Over the past decade, we have removed bad governments, kicked out corporations and rejected many World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies after they stole our natural resources and ruined an already crippled economy with their “shock therapy” prescriptions. We also successfully waged the historic “Cochabamba Water War of 2000” that recovered our water from an international consortium. The people of Uruguay won the first battle in the polls introducing the right to water in their constitution. Their example has spread all over Latin America.

Social movements have mobilized and have changed the political face of this continent. But the struggles haven’t stopped. Water embraces and strengthens other urgent challenges that are happening now across the continent. Water is the one issue where everything intersects; it crosses over into political and economic issues in every region and in every country. People’s struggles over water are about having their voices heard, having better living conditions, establishing their rights to basic survival needs, and determining their own political and economic futures. That is what we call direct democracy. In Bolivia, the water rights struggle has given birth to a political shift. Water has become a symbol of our struggle for political and economic autonomy and for regaining our dignity.

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014

News and Updates »

Palestinian Water Rights: Another Reason to Boycott and Divest from Veolia

By Susan Koppelman

Susan in Dorchester at a Veolia action

World Water Day has become a day to recommit to the struggle for water justice. For decades local and global activists have been leading successful campaigns to maintain local control of water, to protect indigenous rights and to limit corporate profiteering.

In 2012, the Blue Planet Project issued a report on the Human Right to Water in Palestine that calls on “global citizens [to] continue boycott, divestment and sanctions and other forms of resistance that are proving successful in building a global movement, with the aim of generating a global consensus around defying Israel’s illegal restrictions on Palestinian water and sanitation development.”

At the same time this report was released, water justice activists at the Alternative World Water Forum issued the Marseille Declaration for Palestinian Water Rights naming five points of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) that highlight Israel’s system of water apartheid and corporate profiteering from violations of Palestinian water rights.

Marcela Olivera, veteran of the Cochabamba Water War of 2000 that successfully expelled American corporation Bechtel from Bolivia, is a signatory to the Marseille Declaration and a leader of the global movement to create successful alternatives to water privatization. From Bolivia across Latin America, to France, South Africa, and India, water justice activists are deposing multinational corporations, re-municipalizing their water supplies, and creating new institutions of public oversight. (See Olivera’s submission to the Stop Veolia Zine Project, “The Rising Water in Bolivia and Latin America”).

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014

In the Media, News and Updates »

Memorial to Rachel Corrie to be installed at The Evergreen State College

UPDATE: Video of the event available here.

The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, has announced the dedication tomorrow, Wednesday, October 23, of a sculptural tribute to Rachel Corrie. The piece created by international artist and Evergreen graduate Ross Matteson and entitled “Reflecting on Peace and Justice” is a bronze and polished steel representation of a dove on the tip of a pyramid.

The dedication event on the third floor of the College Activities Building on the Olympia campus at 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW begins at 5 p.m. with brief remarks from Evergreen Provost, Michael Zimmerman and sculptor Ross Matteson. Cindy Corrie will speak on behalf of the Rachel Corrie Foundation and the Corrie family, followed by short readings of Rachel’s writing by faculty and students.

During past years, community supporters and conference attendees have had glimpses of the sculpture at major Rachel Corrie Foundation events, while Evergreen faculty, staff, students, and alumni have continued to advocate for its permanent placement on campus. We at the Rachel Corrie Foundation are delighted with Evergreen’s decision to provide a home for the sculpture in the College Activities Building (CAB). As we continue to mark these ten years since Rachel took a stand in Gaza, it is particularly heartening to know that she and her message will be remembered and reflected upon in this beautiful way and in this place so important to her. Artist Ross Matteson notes that the piece

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013

In the Media, News and Updates »

Play gives Bethel student words to express her desire for peace

Originally posted at Bethel College News & Events
By Melanie Zuercher

Renee Reimer in My Name is Rachel Corrie, 2013

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – About two-and-a-half years ago, Renee Reimer, senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., came back from a journey through Israel and Palestine profoundly changed.

“Being there really opened my eyes to a different view on the world,” she says. “I saw the conflict up close and was able to decide for myself how I felt about it, rather than having the media shape my opinion.”

Reimer was part of a January 2011 interterm group that included other Bethel students as well as local pastors and community members.

After returning to Kansas, Reimer, a music and education major with interest and experience in theater, struggled with how to express the things she was thinking and feeling. Then her theater professor, Megan Upton-Tyner, handed her the script for My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Reimer sat down and read the script straight through. Then she read it again.

“I wanted so badly to say the things [Rachel] said,” Reimer told an audience at Phoenix 2013, the Mennonite Church USA biennial convention, “but I wasn’t able to do it as beautifully and poetically as she did.” Continue reading the full article.

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013