On Monday, July 19th, 2010, one million four hundred thousand signatures of Italian citizens were brought to the highest Italian Court in Rome, demanding three referendums. The objective is to place WATER and its management outside of the speculation mechanisms of the national and international financial markets, and to bring about once again its public management.
Just 500,000 signatures would have been enough, but wide swaths of the social fabric were involved and many local committees, trade unions, churches, associations, social centres worked in the campaign, united by an unprecedented awareness. Never before in the Italian history did such a popular mobilisation rise against the neo-liberal theories for the privatisation of the public service par excellence: WATER and its management.
During this worldwide economical crisis the governments cave in to the will of financial lobbies and cut down rights and welfare, but a loud and clear message is launched from Italy, against the commodification of public services, starting with WATER.
Never, before today, in a country in the industrialised North of the world, where multinational corporations preying upon the resources of the South have their headquarters, did such a widely representative force clearly state their opposition to the denial of the right to life that is inherent in the privatisation of WATER. Profit-making cannot be, then, the main rule for life on the planet for the human beings.
This success is a stage in the campaign that the European and worldwide movements are jointly carrying out for the defence of PUBLIC, PARTICIPATIVE WATER.
Press release from The Italian Forum of the Water Movements