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Bolivian Consulate to be Picketed in Auckland

Bolivian Consulate to be Picketed in Auckland

Media Release
The Water Pressure Group
11 April 2000

The Water Pressure Group, in active unity with several other groups will be picketing the Auckland premises of the Bolivian Consulate, to protest against the brutal clampdown and repression that its government has imposed on the people of Bolivia (picket details below).

The Bolivian authorities implemented a nationwide 90 day martial law period last Saturday; in reaction to determined strikes and road blockades by the people of Cochabamba City and in five of nine Bolivian provinces, protesting against water privatisation and huge user-pays water price increases.

Since the draconian measures were taken police and army gunfire has killed six and injured hundreds more. In addition, scores of people have been arrested and have vanished.

Speaking for the protest organisers tonight, Water Pressure Group spokespersons Penny Bright and Jim Gladwin said:

"Ten years of privatisations in Bolivia have seen national rail, telecommunications and electricity services privatised. The people there are showing that they have drawn the line when it comes to the most vital public service."

"As in New Zealand, successive governments have shown that they put the interests of corporations ahead of the people - and Bolivia proves the lengths to which an administration will go. The Bolivian government is attempting to crush working peoples' resistance, murder their own citizens, totally withdraw democratic and human rights, and lie to the world that is a "cocaine war", in their efforts to implement market reform "structural adjustments" in the interests of big business.

"In Auckland the Water Pressure Group continue our campaign of civil disobedience to topple the commercialised water services company Metrowater Ltd, and we see it as our duty to find common cause with the people of Bolivia in their situation," said Penny Bright & Jim Gladwin. "Any assistance we can give them will be willingly given, and we call on all Aucklanders to join with this solidarity action."

Along with other groups, Fair Deal Coalition, Radical Society, Citizens Against Privatisation, Workers Power, and the Poverty Action Coalition, the Water Pressure Group will be taking the WPG fire engine to picket the Bolivian Consulate at: 1pm Thursday 13 April 95 Victoria Avenue Remuera.

Wide support is anticipated from churches, unions, human rights and peace groups.

For further information contact: Ph / Fax 828 4517 or email jimg@pl.net

Jim Gladwin & Penny Bright Media spokespersons

The Water Pressure Group http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz/ email: jimg@pl.net PO Box 10046 Dominion Road Auckland New Zealand Ph / Fax 0064 09 828 4517 Mobile: 025 2666 552

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