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From "Solidari@s con Itoiz" <solidarios@ythis.zzn.com>
Date Thu, 24 Feb 2000 13:23:25 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Greetings to The whole of Italy and all the people from different countries
from all over the world that are here today.

We are  Solidari@s con Itoiz a group campaigning and working to defend the
earth and more specifically against an irrational and devastating dam which
they want to build in the Basque country in the name of "progress".

We have chosen this place to make our public and non violent protest
because it is one of the most famous places in Italy and one of the most
visited places by people of all nationalities. From here and using this
square as a loud speaker we want to pass the message to the world that
earth must be looked after and that is in our hands.

Three of our colleagues have hanged from the San Pietro dome, intending to
put a banner up with the following writing: SOS ITOIZ - STOP THE DAMS. They
intend to stay up there as long as they can.

The Itoiz dam is, like many other projects carried out by humans in many
points of the planet, a destructive, wasteful, anti-environmental and an
illegal project and we can even describe it as criminal.

Destructive, because filling up the dam  nine villages of the valley will
disappear and another six will be directly affected. Traditional ways of
life which have lasted for thousands of years till our days, based on
respect towards earth will disappear together with a historical-artistical
"patrimony" of uncountable value (non economical).

Wasteful, as the project is within a pharaonic hydraulic policy which is
driving us towards disproportional spending of this prime material ( water)
instead of learning and teaching more efficient and cleaner ways of using
it. We must not forget that water is the most needed prime material and the
one we are polluting the most.

Anti-environmental, because the dam will flood 3 areas considered natural
reserves, two ZEPAS ( special areas for the protection of birds) in valleys
where the transition between the pirenaic and Mediterranean climate takes
place. A place where time, earth and the sun have created a very special
microclimate in which many animal species live and are in clear danger of

Illegal, because the dam has been declared illegal and invalid by the
National Court, as confirmed by the High court. In spite of all this, none
of these bodies have done anything to stop the works, which has left clear
the injustice of Justice.

Criminal: this adjective is as true as it is real, because the Spanish
government have hidden documents of an study for over 15 years. This study
declares the dam as a very high risk dam and it could have catastrophic
consequences. This way they were trying to hide the fact that the lives of
many people  were in danger (as it happened in the Vaijont dam in 1963 in
which more than 2000 people were killed), but the opposition got hold of
the study and made it public.

For all these reasons and the unfair sentence of 4 years and 10 months that
8 members of the group have been given (for stopping the works of the dam
in a very clean way), we are touring Europe in protest; it began at the
European parliament in Strasbourg with a public press release.

We have been touring since September last year  visiting different
countries doing actions and protests as  well as video-talks. Our aim is to
inform and to get support from all kinds of social groups in order to get
international support to pressure the Navarra government and the Spanish
government, who are responsible for this barbaric project.

The opposition in our land is powerful but we think that the responsibility
is not only of the people that live in this land but everybody's; one thing
we all have in common is the union with earth.

We must realise and make the ones  that try to rule our lives realise that
earth does not belong to anybody, the different generations lent it to us
and many more are still to come.

More information about the tour:  

Photos and update http://www.tmcrew.org/int/itoiz

                Roma 24/ 02/ 2000

 Solidari@s con Itoiz
 e-mail: solidarios@ythis.zzn.com

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