Note: the following report about the IWD event in Berlin, Germany is from Feminist Peace Network member Ruth Luschnat. I have done some editing in order to make it more readable in English, but have strived to retain the original language as much as possible. Click here to see more photos from the event.
Because so many women and activists are concerned about the water question, on IWD 2008 in Berlin about 100 people gathered in an art action in front of the Art House Bethanien in Kreuzberg to demand the stopping of destructive privatisations and war for the human right to water in connection with the international campaign “Public water – our right!” from 8.-22. March 2008 by the World Union PSI which wants to bring to consciousness that the UN had declared in 2002 a human right to sane, reasonably priced and democratically organised water supply. In consequence of this UN declaration the Netherlands have already put into their constitution that water supply cannot be privatised because of the essential value it has for all.
The core idea of the art action is the concept “FLUXUS REFLOATED – SHARE ABOUT WATER”. This is the idea that people come together in a circle with a water basin in the center to celebrate (the sanctity of) water which is the source of life on the planet and in the end take water out of the center and clink glasses to the global human right to water that is to come about by our sharing the will towards this end and tgereby gently postulate global democracy as power from the grassroots.
Our humanity depends ultimately on the question of whether we can find somebody that can and will give us a glass of water to drink when we are thirsty. This is not at all evident in many places, and will be in many more regions when water becomes the blue gold that it is on the way to become as good to be marketed by share holder capitalism. A German scientist has shown how the CO 2 reduction can never be realised, without taking care of regional water circuits, therefore this is a question of existential need to control economy by democratic regulations and means.
But we need to act together for this :because:
In Berlin just 4 days before March 8 the Berlin Senate had refuted a peoples vote of nearly 40 000 signatures for transparency about the secret contracts with RWE and Veolia of the 49% of Berlin’s privatised water supply with arguments saying that democracy is not existing in face of the rights of the investors. (51% still owned by the City of Berlin. Needed for the start of such a vote are only 20,000).
Berlin water activists can imagine paying global water tax instead of the profits for the share holders: this is a new level of globalising democracy if it comes true: and we need to make this come about!
Our Art manifestation shared input : it was looking at the essential things: a lot of wars lay ahead, when water is not shared by humanity in a new ecological an accountable way. We cannot continue letting unaccountable economy run us into catastrophe we need to see clear:
The uncontrolled capitalist rule makes global players want to own the ground waters everywhere on this globe and they are already on the way to do this.
But : we can make a crucial difference and we have to!:
Justice for Bhopal is more than just a far away issue, it is important for all of us that water supply be secured by global eco laws to hold economy accountable when they damage water resources.
Thus: water must be a global common and organised as a human right!
This depends on us organising the will to it.
In this sense we had a circle on IWD 08 in Berlin and we clinked glasses to the words :
may we decide together to stay human!
With FLUXUS REFLOATED we want to invite everybody to share art for the human right to water on a global level and the connected global eco law to make economy accountable for damages done to the water locally and globally acting we can organise in a way that funding to enable sane water everywhere on the globe can be done with ecological care.
Also we think that good art brings meaning and brings people to share and this is not an elitist propaganda show as it has been in the centuries before the 20th and then under totalitarian rules.
Greetings from Berlin
Berlin Women’s Forum