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Bolivian Consulate Hosed Down Again

Water from the hose of the Water Pressure Group's fire engine sprayed over the gate to the Bolivian Consulate at noon today, in a solidarity protest with the people of Bolivia who are fighting against privatisation of their water services.

Those present at this feisty picket, paid tribute to the courage and determination of the Bolivian protestors whose "March for Life and the Sovereignty of Our People" was planned to arrive at the doorstep of the Bolivian Government in La Paz today.

Parallels were drawn between the fight against corporate control of water services in Bolivia and New Zealand and it was recognised that we had a huge amount to learn from the people of Bolivia when it came to the civil disobedience that was required to make the politicians listen to the people!

Speakers noted that greatest act of solidarity with the Bolivian people in their fight against corporate control of their water was for Aucklanders not to pay their water bills.

A copy of a letter addressed to the Bolivian President was placed in the letter box for the information of the Bolivian Consulate. It read as follows:


The President
Government of Bolivia
via Fax 011-591-2-442-589
copy to:
The Bolivian Consulate
Auckland
New Zealand.
23 April 2001

Dear Sir,

"March for Life and the Sovereignty of Our People"

Today - on this day when the March for Life and the Sovereignty of Our People is planned to arrive at your doorstep in La Paz - we are again honoured to protest outside your Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand, as our demonstration of international solidarity with the people of Bolivia in their principled struggle for economic and political demands.

We fully support the "Communal" march of citizens which since 9 April hasbeen progressing toward your capital city. We are also aware of the harassment, violence and arrests of marchers inflicted by your police and military forces. This letter is to express our strongest concern and condemnation of you and your government.

Last year, the World Bank was so confident of its "structural adjustment programme" - as installed into Bolivia by your compliant administration - that the Bank held Bolivia up as an example to South Africa and others as to how they too should be implementing similar measures for the IMF. The facts, however, show quite the reverse.

Instead of Bolivia being a "model" of market reform for national governments to emulate, the citizens of Bolivia, through their capacity for courageous struggle, have become a beacon for peoples the world over. Their endeavours furnish inspiring proof that democractic principles as demanded by the "common folk" are quite possible to attain through the defeat of the greedy enemy now threatening the wellbeing and prosperity of all peoples.

What the World Bank, the global corporations and your own government didn't bargain on was the determination by working people throughout Bolivia to defend public services and assets, and the strength of their fight for the survival of their communities and for their common interests, against your ugly intentions and worst efforts to subjugate them. For us here in Auckland, the victory last April of the people of Cochabamba, in beating back your privatisation of water services via a forty-year lease to the Bechtel Corporation and its business partners, stands as a particularly historic milestone. That victory is a vivid inspiration for us in our battles here against commercialisation and privatisation, and our present call for an Auckland-wide boycott of user charges and flat fees for water services.

We condemn your government and your treachery.

RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IMMEDIATELY! CEASE YOUR REPRESSION OF THE BOLIVIAN WORKING PEOPLE! ABANDON YOUR PROGRAMME OF PRIVATISATIONS AND PUBLIC ASSET SALES!

Penny Bright Water Pressure Group Media Spokesperson. Ph: 8469 825

For background information about the Bolivian people's struggle last year which resulted in the San Fransisco based multinational corporation Bechtel closing their office and fleeing from Bolivia in what has been described as the 'most censored story in the world last year', contact the following website: http://www.democracyctr.org for background information about the Water Pressure Group's solidarity action last year with the Bolivian people's struggle: http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz


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