Tue, 21 Mar 2000


The opening ceremony of the World Water Forum, in The Hague has been interrupted half an hour after its beginning. Two members of Solidari@s con Itoiz have jumped to the stage where Abu-Zeid, Chairman of the World Water Council was giving his inaugural speech.The two members have taken their clothes off, showing their painted bodies in which the following slogans could be read: SOS ITOIZ, STOP THE DAMS and DON'T PRIVATICE WATER. They have also handcuffed themselves to each other while shouting different slogans against the Itoiz Dam and the Water privatisation. Abu-Zeid has kept on giving his speech as If nothing was happening while security guards have removed the two people violently and closing the doors behind them in order to stop access to the press.

Minutes later, another member of the group has chained herself to the chair where she was sitting and has started to loudly shout information about the actual situation of the corrupted project of the Itoiz dam. Many guards have jumped on her, physically shutting her mouth. Inspite of such repression she has kept on shouting until the end of the ceremony, when they have managed to find something to cut the chains she was chained to.

Moments after this second interruption, a fourth person, situated in a different point of the hall, has hanged himself from the balcony of the hall showing a banner that said: NO TO WATER PRIVATIZATION and shouting different slogans.

Following this, and in the centre of the hall, another collective member has got up from the chair in which he was sitting taking his T-shirt off, showing slogans painted on his body that said SOS ITOIZ and STOP THE DAMS. This person has been immediately removed from the hall, being pushed aggressively.

The person hanging from the balcony and the other one chained to her chair are still in the hall, shouting; they have not managed to remove them yet.

While the ceremony is trying to pick up the attention of the audience, another member of Solidari@s con Itoiz starts to climb up the wall by the stage, until he reaches a place were he cannot be removed. He also joints the other two people by shouting and singing and opens a red banner in which SOS ITOIZ can be read.

After 20 minutes, the security guards started to pull the rope from which one of the members of the group was hanging from, ignoring the danger of the situation. With great difficulties they managed to pull him up and remove him from the hall, arresting him.

In spite of the tension at the ceremony, they have tried to continue as if nothing had happened although various slogans and songs could be heard while the Prince of Orange gave his speech.

The ceremony has been interrupted , as no politicians neither the beautiful performing ladies managed to divert the audience's attention from the shouting and singing of Solidari@s con Itoiz.

At 16;30 the six members of Solidari@s are still in police dependencies remaining anonymous. Two of the members have been accused of public scandal and all of them charged for disturbing a public meeting.

Itoiz | Dam Protests | (archives) |