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Corporate Water Barons Indifferent to Running Water But Not Security at World Water Forum

It's unbelievable to think that over 20,000 people traveled thousands of miles to hear shortsighted corporate spin.
 
 
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Istanbul -- Now into its third day, the World Water Forum has an incredible police presence, and the security is downright oppressive. So much so that there are special VIP entrances and areas – including the restrooms. Yet despite the painstaking attention afforded to security, the forum is lax on certain other logistical details. Last night, one of the buildings that housed panel discussions and workshops did not have water for flushing the toilets or washing hands -- a sad but fitting metaphor for the inefficiencies of privatized water systems that the World Water Forum promotes.

Now into its third day, the World Water Forum has an incredible police presence, and the security is downright oppressive. So much so that there are special VIP entrances and areas – including the restrooms. Yet despite the painstaking attention afforded to security, the forum is lax on certain other logistical details. Last night, one of the buildings that housed panel discussions and workshops did not have water for flushing the toilets or washing hands -- a sad but fitting metaphor for the inefficiencies of privatized water systems that the World Water Forum promotes.

Indeed, it is security, not access to water, that reigns as the top concern here. Forum attendees must have their access badges scanned at multiple security checkpoints. Our whereabouts are tracked throughout the forum, following which building we are in and what workshops we are going to. Security intervenes if we try to ask questions at panels or ask to present information that is contrary to what is being promoted.  Even the bathrooms have security. What, do you suppose, are they so afraid of?

Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch . She has worked extensively on energy, food, water and environmental issues at the national, state and local level.

 
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