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The battle for water (letter to Sun Journal)

Sun Journal
Friday, October 3, 2008

Contrary to how some media and critics have portrayed the struggle of the “water justice movement,” the battle is not about restricting water for farmers, ski resorts or local breweries. The battle being fought in Maine, and played out in other parts of the country, is for local control, as opposed to corporate control of a precious resource – water.

In Maine, the huge Swiss conglomerate, Nestle, masquerades as a friendly local company. They seek out rural areas of the state, small communities with limited government, and attempt to rush them into a half-century long, one-sided, inescapable contract backed by international trade and investment agreements such as GAT and NAFTA.

Mainers have done their homework and realize that Nestle did not get to be the number one food and beverage business in the world by putting people before profits.

Knowing that there is presently a worldwide water crisis, which will surely get worse with global climate change, Mainers understand why Nestle is so anxious to expand.

But we know who will really profit in the end.

Should the public trust the Nestle Corporation to protect groundwater resources for the benefit of the communities and future generations?

Present laws in the state of Maine don’t offer enough protection, so Mainers are taking matters into their own hands and are trying to pass local ordinances and encouraging others to support state representative Rick Burn’s legislation LR 59 and LR 105.

That is called democracy, not corporatocracy.

Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunk

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