[Marxism] NO TO THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF WATER PLATFORM

Fuat Ercan ercanfu at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 8 02:38:51 MDT 2009


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ISTANBUL DECLARATION AGAINST THE 5TH WORLD WATER FORUM 15-22 March 2009/ Istanbul

We,
No to the Commercialization of Water Platform, in opposition to the 5th
World Water Forum (16-22 March, Istanbul) and its collaborators in
Turkey and throughout the world, have organized demonstrations, press
releases, various workshops on the issue of water and meetings of broad
participation, announce that:

Starting from April 2008, during
our Counter Forum activities based on social utility, we have acted
with the belief that defending water against commercialization, which
poses a threat towards all peoples and living creatures, is only
possible through an organized struggle.

Therefore, we acknowledge as our priority the necessity to incorporate society’s broadest sections into this struggle.

From
the beginning onwards, this struggle does not only consist of
preparations against the 5th World Forum or of activities organized as
part of the counter forum. We anticipate that our struggle will carry
on until our forests, land, labor and water have become free.

We
declare our solution offers to all the organizations who struggle
against the commercialization of water in Turkey and throughout the
world, and with whom, at the end of our counter forum activities, we
have reached a consensus regarding the problems we face.

   1.
Our opposition is not solely directed towards the World Water Council
or the World Water Forum. We declare to the whole world that we
consider the United Nations as part of the problem, not as part of the
solution, due to the fact that it is the first international
institution that defines water as a commercial good (commodity) and
that it undertakes the sponsorship of the World Water Council since its
foundation. We, trade unions and trade organizations, revolutionary
configurations, labor parties, environment and culture associations
from Turkey, believe that it is not possible for the states that are
identified to be anti-democratic when considered individually, to act
“democratically” when clustered together under the umbrella of the UN. 

  
2. The reason that institutions of the capitalist system like World
Water Council, OECD and World Bank are lately putting forward
“public-private partnership” as a strategy, is in our view nothing else
than the aim to create blurriness in the mind of to people regarding
the process of commodification of water. Therefore, the truth that the
word “public” is trying to conceal should be examined correctly. As we
can see, not only in Turkey, but also in many examples throughout the
world, water resources and services may well be commercialized with the
hand of the “public”. Moreover, the legal regulations that ensure water
to become a good bought and sold on the market are carried out by the
states themselves. In the present conditions, where multi-national
corporations and the World Water Council repeat that the ownership of
water resources should be kept in the hands of the state, but
insistently emphasize that it is an inevitable necessity that the value
of water is determined by the market, to argue for what is public is to
approve the commodification of water. Furthermore, due to the fact that
the capitalist system in which clean water is rapidly polluted and
consumed, would still be going on, even if the ownership of water
distribution and resources stays in the hands of the states, demands
confined exclusively to the advocacy of public ownership of water
conveyance and distribution, cannot block the accelerating destruction
of water’s natural cycle and the eco-system. With this strategy it is
anticipated that public water businesses who are experienced in
marketing water resources in the global marketplace, will share their
experiences with other public water businesses and all the state-owned
water companies will become active commercial actors in the global
marketplace. 

   3. Another concern that ensued from the
workshops held during 17-18 March, are propositions oriented towards
bargaining with the capitalist system, such as the selling of water for
its cost price. When the problem is handled from a universal
perspective, it is known to everyone that there are countries and
regions that are rich in water resources and there are those that are
poor in water resources. Since it is evident that as the distance
between human settlements and water resources increases, capital
investments will increase and costs will amount to astronomic levels,
and that it is highly contestable even for the peoples of water rich
and developed countries to approve of such arguments, it is possible to
predict that such propositions will make the water struggles regress.

  
4. We, No to the Commercialization of Water Platform, believe that
instead of considering the attempt to “determine the value of water
through market mechanisms” which the World Water Council insistently
emphasizes, as a mere technical detail, it must be analyzed in terms of
the repercussions it has for the people and the eco-system. In exactly
the same way as it is with all other commodities, it is necessary to
have a quantifiable and storable water supply and a water extraction
and conveyance process in which capital and labor is both included.
This also means that groundwater is removed in excessive amounts and
collected above ground, the eco-system balance is destroyed by building
countless dams on rivers, unemployment and poverty reach even more
unbearable dimensions while physical labor exploitation in water and
related production processes increases, and the world is confronted
with rapid desertification.  This process, which will make clean water
even scarcer gradually, will make water prices reach astronomic levels
due to the unavoidable rise of capital investments, and the working
classes’ impoverishment and their difficulty to access water will
become even more inevitable. 

   5. As a compulsory requirement
of the commodification of water and a means to increase exploitation
and profits in the capitalist-imperialist system, the building of dams
that do not take into consideration the natural cycle of water, the
entirety of the eco-system, the vital importance of freely flowing
rivers for natural life and agriculture and the availability of water
to all creatures, is not a solution to the problems of water provision
and sustainability. It is also apparent that such attempts increase the
water shortage and the destruction of the quality of water even more.

  
6. It is clear that despite the discourse of institutions such as the
World Water Council and the UN, which try to acquire legitimacy for the
commodification of water by pleading for “obtainment of water by the
ones who do not have access to it”, the transformation of water into a
commercial good will not be a solution for the 1 billion people
throughout the world that do not have access to water. Because the ones
who do not have access to water, are in fact the most poor sections who
do not have the means to buy even food. It would not be wrong to
predict that these groups, who make up the lower layers of the laboring
peoples, will this time not be able to have access to water due to the
lack of money, once the commodification of water has been achieved.
Therefore, we believe that it is our indispensable and ertelenemez duty
to expose at all times, the unreal stories of the ones who advocate the
commodification of water under the false pretext of providing water to
the peoples of the world.   

   7. The most condemned domain by
the World Water Forum and its sponsors is conventional agriculture due
to its increasing consumption of clean water resources. The proposed
solution however, is the transition to industrial agriculture. The
spread of industrial agriculture through the process of “green
revolution” has not been able to eliminate hunger completely and has
caused a set of environmental problems. In order to increase the
efficiency in agriculture, the quality of food and to create a
healthier environment, agricultural models that are friendly to nature
have to be preferred. 

   8. It is evident that in the whole
world, as is the case in Palestine, water is gradually being used as a
strategic weapon. However, water crossing borders can only be managed
correctly with the cooperation and solidarity of the people at both
sides of the border. The participation of international institutions in
the management of water in such localities can only bear the signs of
commercial and imperialistic hegemony. 

   9. We, No to the
Commercialization of Water Platform, know that water is a necessity not
only for humans but also for other creatures, that water being a
component of nature is the protector of the organic and inorganic
systems, and that water itself is a living thing. Thus, water being an
inseparable part of life; we do not accept its commercialization.    

In
the light of the above evaluations, No to the Commercialization of
Water Platform’s struggle to overcome the increasing shortage of clean
water in the world and to prevent the commodification of water, has the
following short term goals:

    * Openly discussing the
necessity and the benefits of the construction of all kinds of water
structures, evaluating the viewpoints of the people who will be
effected as a majority opinion, evaluating the environmental, cultural
and social effects, the planning of water structures not according to
the benefit of the capitalist construction and finance sectors, but
according to the sustainability of all life and nature, and determining
locations according to these criteria, 

    * In order to
provide water to the ones who don’t have access and to provide domestic
water free of charge, water must be sold for the market price to firms
that produce commodities and at least half of the water needed by
industry, must be provided from their own waste water treatment
facilities,     

    * Providing cost-free water for irrigation, to those who engage in subsistence farming,  

    * Re-evaluating the efficiency of agricultural production, according to its contribution to human health,

   
* Overcoming capitalist farming and large landownership in agriculture,
and improving overhauled conventional techniques that will protect
water and soil, 

    * Abolishing the capitalist pressures
(construction and rent) on water basins completely, hence preventing
the pressures to increase efficiency and that of water shortage,

   
* Protecting water basins in their entirety and unconditionally by
committee’s set up by the local people, and not according to short,
middle, long distance protection zones, 

    * Cancelling laws and allowances already given, that permit mining in water basins,     

   
* Preventing industry from illicitly removing underground and surface
water, overseeing that waste water is purified before being reused, and
not allowing the usage of water from fossil aquifers,

    *
Protecting wetland systems and basins according to “sustainability of
the natural equilibrium” and not according to “sustainable development”
strategies,

    * Protecting and improving pasture and forest areas,

    * Preventing water basins being polluted by agricultural activities, industrial and domestic wastes,

   
* Prohibiting production with seeds genetically altered, which pose a
threat to bio-diversity in our country and the whole world,

   
* Giving weight to local varieties that are better adapted to their
surroundings and consume less water and nutrients, instead of hybrid
seeds produced by corporations that do not pay any attention to
geographical circumstances,

    * Intervening in every kind of
initiative that destroys the historical, cultural and natural fabric
and compels people to migration, due to the interference in rivers
through dam construction and hydroelectric plants, 

    *
Cutting off the usage of fossil fuels in energy production and
transferring to renewable energy production, particularly wind and sun
energy,

    * Producing energy in localities that are in need,
instead of producing it from long distances, and do planning according
to renewability of recourses, not according to the increase in energy
requirement of capitalist production,

    * Closely monitoring probable policies and scenario’s related to water sharing on the local level,

    * Ensuring the participation of people in the process of legislation related to water,

   
* Embarking upon the effort to cancel the legal regulations that give
permission to water companies in Italy, India and Turkey to establish
their own private security organs,

    * Implementing policies, which enable producers to have a say in the management of water and land,

   
* Creating work environments in which employees of water services and
related jobs can work under full social security, freely and with
humanely wages,

    * Developing strategies that will help labor movements to internalize the struggle, creating a strong social opposition,

    * Ensuring that everyone has equal and free access to potable, clean water,

   
* Since the increase in productivity of water resources in any country
will restrict the access to water of neighboring countries and their
laborers, thereby decreasing the purchasing power of wages, instead of
engaging in efforts to “increase productivity”, the collective
organization of laborers of neighboring countries should be aimed for,  

   
* Reaching a consensus on the necessity to urgently create national and
international networks in order to broadcast to the whole world the
policies and practices of corporations and states regarding water and
to interchange information about the experiences of struggle in the
countries, regions and localities that are exposed to similar
enforcements,

    * Monitoring international struggles, sharing
experiences of local resistance and struggle in the process of the
commercialization of water, transforming these experiences into a unity
of resistance at common grounds, in short ensuring that through
international knowledge sharing the peoples of the world can act
collectively,

    * In collectivizing demands related to the
water struggle across the world, it is important to act according to
the benefit of local communities of the world who are living in the
most difficult circumstances and to ensure their demands become a world
demand,

    * Taking into account all local, historical, and
cultural differences while building organization and solidarity
networks across the globe,

    * Taking a collective stand with
the peoples of the world in order to delete immediately the clauses
regarding the commercialization and commodification of water from the
loan agreements between governments and international loan
associations, especially the World Bank, and to ensure that it will not
be recommended again,

    * Contributing as artists to the
organized struggle by creating, publishing and displaying works in
favor of water rights, democracy and labor rights.   

In the long run:

Our
determination to actualize our shared opinions will give strength to
the systematic and organized struggle of No to the Commercialization of
Water Platform. 

We believe that no economic value is more
important than the history and cultural heritage of people and natural
life and its equilibrium.

Water is life itself. The
commercialization of water is not only inacceptable for humans but also
for all of nature and other living creatures.

We stand for only the use value of water and its utilization in the production of products that only have a use value.

We
concretize our demand for a free world without exploitation, in which
developments in science and technology are employed for the benefit of
humankind.

Shortly, we claim the use value of our land, bread,
labor and WATER, meaning that all production must solely focus on
public welfare.

Once again we plead that the people will
struggle together against the games of commercialization of water the
World Water Council and their collaborators play in Turkey, and against
the intentions of the 5th World Water Forum.

NO TO THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF WATER PLATFORM 

http://www.suplatformu.net/ 


      


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