Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 21:07:01 +0100 (BST)
latest news from Itoiz


 28th August- 1st September;
 The international protest camp will this year be
 transformed into a hike in the mountains, valleys and
 by the rivers of the Itoiz area, spending the nights
 in villages, and with their inhabitants, it will visit
 the dam site with the combination of Party and Protest
 of previous years, but this time on the move. We will
 keep you informed in later correspondence with details
 on the hike: Itinery, activities, conditions,
 infrastructure etc. Put it in your diaries,

 Until next time, an embrace of solidarity,

 OF ITOIZ (Oct 2001-Apr2002)

 After the international protest camp organised by our
 collective, which constituted a real success in it's
 participation, these are the latest reports in
 relation to this project: -Actions which took place on
 Oct 31 and Nov 1 for the release of Iñaki Garcia Koch
 and a halt to the dam project.

 As you know Iñaki Garcia Koch is one of the 8 members
 of our collective who cut concrete supply cables at
 the dam works, was arrested in a routine police
 control in June last year. He is currently serving a 4
 year 10 month sentence in the prison of
 Iruña/Pamplona. To demand his release and a halt to
 the dam project various actions of protest took place
 in different parts of the Basque Country and the
 Spanish state.

 In the 4 provincial capitals of the Basque Country:
 Iruña (4 arrests) , Bilbo, Gasteiz, and Donostia
 various people chained themselves to the interior of
 different public # In the Spanish state there were
 numerous actions of protest in Granada (one protester
 was detained and accused of being a terrorist
 sympathiser) , Castellon (protest heavily suppressed
 by police) , Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona, Leganes, and
 Badalona. In all these actions other hydrological
 projects and the entire "Plan Hidrologico Nacional"
 were also denounced. On these dates the action of
 simultaneously sending faxes to the director of the
 Itoiz dam project also took place and signatures are
 still being collected for a manifesto supporting the
 release of Iñaki. If you wish to express your
 solidarity and support to Iñaki you can write to him
 in prison in Iruña at the following address: Iñaki
 Garcia Koch, Carcel de Iruña, C/San Roque s/n, 31011
 Iruñea Basque Country.

 -Action of Solidarios with Itoiz at the stone laying
 ceremony of the canal of Navarra.

 3 members of our collective disrupted the official
 stone laying ceremony to inaugurate the building of
 the "Canal de Navarra " when they arrived naked and
 interrupted the actual stone laying. Despite the very
 high security the 3 managed to arrive cross-country to
 within meters of the Spanish Environment Minister and
 the president of Navarra. They were arrested and later

 This 177Km canal beginning at Itoiz, with an estimated
 cost of 625 million Euros is in theory for the
 irrigation of 53,000 hectares in lands in the south of
 Navarra (La Ribera). We say in theory because, we
 believe that in practise the canal in it's entirety
 will never actually be completed, that the true
 objective of the construction of the Itoiz reservoir
 and other reservoir projects in the Ebro valley
 (Cuenca del Ebro) is the immense program of waterways
 designed in the "Plan Hidrologico Nacional" to carry
 huge quantities of water to Catalonia and the
 Mediteranian coast. Favouring the interests of
 industry, development, tourism and intensive farming.

 This canal will be nothing more than another
 ecological and economical fiasco within the
 senselessness of everything relating to the project of
 Itoiz. -Demonstration of over 300,000 people in
 Barcelona to demand the scrapping of the National
 hydrological plan (Plan hidrologico Nacional).

 On the day before the summit of European leaders in
 Barcelona there was one of the largest demonstrations
 against this insane project, which will result in the
 building of nearly 200 new reservoirs (in the country
 with the highest number of reservoirs per square Km
 per habitant in the world) with a vast network of
 waterways. If it goes ahead it will result in the
 ecological destruction of unexpected consequences
 greatly worsening the environmental unbalances which
 already exist.

 This is a key moment for the execution of the plan,
 now that the government of the European union have to
 decide to economically support (more than 30%) this
 barbaric plan or not. -

 Delays of 1 year in commencing the filling of the
 Itoiz reservoir.

 Both the environment minister and the Navarran
 government had announced the beginning of trial
 filling of the reservoir for spring last year, but
 something in their calculations was wrong. Not only
 have they not filled it, but they have announced more
 delays taking the date to the end of this present
 year. The reason for these long delays is no other
 than the fear of an incalculable catastrophe resulting
 from the filling of the reservoir.

 The 2 independent engineers of recognised prestige,
 Arturo Rebollo and Antonio Casas, warned more than a
 year ago of the geological instability of the area in
 which the dam has been constructed. Predicting the
 possibility of 7 different risks of a disaster if it
 is filled, resulting in the death of thousands of
 people living near the waters not only below but above
 the dam. As if this is not enough, there are also
 serious doubts to the resistance of the foundations of
 the Asco Nuclear plant (situated on the banks of the
 river Ebro) to flood waters in the event of the dam

 Up till now the authorities have ignored the engineers
 report, even ridiculed it. The Emergency Program
 approved by the Spanish government is based
 principally on the report. The said program
 contemplates the possibility of catastrophes similar
 to those described by A. Rebollo and A. Casas, putting
 in danger the lives of 66,000 people in Navarra and
 tens of thousands in Aragon including the residents of
 Zaragoza, not counting the millions of people who
 could be affected by the consequences of the dams
 possible overflow on the Asco nuclear plant.

 This emergency plan doesn't even include measures for
 the evacuation of the people (in many cases
 impossible) it is limited to warning the population
 with the use of sirens! -13th April 2002
 Demonstration in Iruña/Pamplona: "NO TO THE FILLING OF

 Some 3000 people were present on the march from the
 centre of Pamplona to the prison where Inaki Garcia
 Koch has been imprisoned for the last 9 months. The
 march was colourful and noisy with sirens which
 ridiculed those of the emergency plan which the
 Spanish Government plans to install to warn the
 population in the event of an accident at the dam.
 When the march arrived outside the prison(where Inaki
 could hear) one of the solidarios who has a warrant
 out for his arrest, read an end of demonsration
 announcement. He then slipped away due to the large
 police presence. In the announcement Solidarios con
 Itoiz stated the necessity to keep up the fight
 against the building project and the filling of the
 reservoir, which is planned for next winter. A speech
 written by Inaki from the prison was also read out.

Itoiz | Dam Protests | (archives) |