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P.O.V. is on right now in Nebraska/Iowa. Did you know Bechtel had

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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 11:08 PM
Original message
P.O.V. is on right now in Nebraska/Iowa. Did you know Bechtel had
obtained the rights to the water in Bolivia? Did you know that there were riots because they raised the rates for drinking water from 30 to 300%? Do you know that people died when protesting the usurpation of their right to water?

This show is on PBS in the Eastern Nebraska area right now. It is truly frightening.
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liveoaktx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Saw that the other day- WATER should not be privatized
I looked up the end of the Stockton, CA debacle after the show and saw that they raised a lawsuit against the city council.. and won. The arrogance of the mayor of Stockton was breathtaking.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. A quote from the film: What oil was to the 20th century, water will be to
the 21st.



In Stockton, the Citizens Coalition, Sierra Club, and League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit to stop the privatization of the city's water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities, arguing that under California's Environmental Quality Act the city should have completed an environmental impact statement before approving the contract. In an extraordinary ruling, Superior Court Judge Robert McNatt threw out the privatization, writing that approval of the contract was "an abuse of discretion by the City Council."

The City appealed the ruling and also asked Judge McNatt to order a new trial based on a little-used law on private sector participation in government operations.

The Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton have appealed that ruling and now both appeals are pending. In the meantime, water rates have increased, OMI/Thames continues to control the city's water system, and construction of new water facilities is on hold pending the outcome of the legal battle.


Rebellions against privatization in Bolivia continued, toppling the government in 2003. The U.S. has increased military aid to the Bolivian Army.

After the contract was cancelled, Bechtel filed a claim against the Bolivian government, demanding $25 million in lost profits. The suit is pending in an international arbitration court. Under restricted bidding procedures that The New York Times called "unacceptable," the company won the contract for water infrastructure in post-war Iraq. The newspaper editorialized; "The award of a contract worth up to $680 million to the Bechtel Group of San Francisco in a competition limited to a handful of American companies can only add to the impression that the United States seeks to profit from the war it waged...." (4/19/03)
Notice the bloody corporate fingers of Bechtel here.
The Players

There are a handful of major international private water companies, but two French multinational corporations dominate the sector: Vivendi SA (soon to be called Veolia Environnement) and Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux (soon to be called Ondeo). These two companies own or have interests in water projects in more than 120 countries and each by their own claims provide water to around 100 million people.

Despite Vivendi's dominant position in water privatization, water activities are a small part of the larger company, Vivendi Universal, which was created in December 2000 when it merged with the Seagram Company to form a global media and telecommunications company. The total annual revenue from the interlocking subsidiaries of Vivendi in 2000 exceeded $37 billion, of which more than 25 percent came from the water business.4

Suez is active in more than 100 countries and claims to provide 110 million people with water and wastewater services. Of the 30 biggest cities to award contracts between 1995 and 2000, 20 chose Suez, including Manila, Jakarta, Casablanca, Santiago de Chile, and Atlanta. Suez also purchases stakes or full interests in other water companies: with its $1 billion purchase of United Water Resources, it became the second largest manager of municipal systems in the United States, just behind American Water Works. Suez also purchased Nalco and Calgon in the United States for $4.5 billion, making it the biggest provider of water treatment chemicals for both industry and cities. In 2000, Suez reported profits of 1.9 billion euros on sales of almost 35 billion euros: of this, 9.1 billion euros (or 27 percent) of revenues came from their water businesses. 5

Other companies also have major water interests, including Thames Water and United Utilities in Great Britain, Bechtel and Enron in the United States, and Aguas de Barcelona in Spain. To add to the complexity, however, many of these companies have interlocking directorates or partial interests in each other. For example, in spring 1999, Vivendi purchased U.S. Filter Corporation. United Utilities of the UK has joint ventures with Bechtel. United Water Resources in the United States is partly owned by Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux.
The activists in this film said that people should start to form community groups BEFORE the big companies move in. Don't wait until what happened in Stockton happens in your community.

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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. What?
Is this in Bolivia? What are we talking about?
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, I have know for a few years. Read Mother Jones, and
The Lowdown, by Jim Hightower for information on that kind of stuff LONG before it appears (if ever) in the regular media.

Did you know that Chattanooga and Atlanta privatized their water systems? Did you know that it's not going well in either city and that rates keep in increasing even though service is getting worse?

But the owners are making out like bandits. Of course they laid off experienced people, cut the maintenance budgets, raised prices and paid themselves really, really well. So, they're happy. It's just that the citizens are not.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Center for Public Integrity has been following this
The explosive growth of three private water utility companies in the last 10 years raises fears that mankind may be losing control of its most vital resource to a handful of monopolistic corporations. In Europe and North America, analysts predict that within the next 15 years these companies will control 65 percent to 75 percent of what are now public waterworks.

And they state that cholera is on the rise in areas which have privatized water.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Couple of thoughts...
"You privatize away, what is ours, what is ours...
You privatize away what is ours.
You privatize away, and then you make us pay,
We'll take it back someday, mark my words- mark my words!
We'll take it back someday, mark my words... - Billy Bragg, Thatcherites

The wordsof Emma Goldman come to mind, as well...

Ask for work. If they do not give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, take bread."

Yes, I think the principle of expropriation applies here.
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