Wednesday, March 26, 2003   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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An old English nursery rhyme goes: "They hang the man and flog the woman/ That steal the goose from off the common/ But let the greater villian loose/ That steals the common from the goose."

It's receiving remarkably little media attention, but the corporate villians are loose, stealing the commons from you and me and now they're trying to plunder the most essential public resource we have: Our water.

There's an ignoble, global water grab underway. In our country and throughout the world, a handful of conglomerates are moving rapidly to turn this necessity of life into just another commodity for traders and speculators a private plaything for personal profiteering.

And if you're xenophobic, get ready to have your brain explode: The Big Three water grabbers are foreigners! Mon dieux, bubba, two are French conglomerates and the other is German, and they've alread grabbed the water systems of Houston, Indianapolis, Lexington, Jersey City, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., and dozens of other cities.

While the promise of water privatization has been golden, the delivery has been leaden. In city after city that has succumbed to the corporate promises, locals have seen their monthly bills skyrocket, service sink, water quality stink, and democratic control evaporate. As a result, water wars have broken out all across America as folks are organizing, petitioning, and holding referendums to stop the corporate heist of their water supply. And Atlanta, Jacksonville, and other places that had previously privatized, have gotten so fed up with the result that they've dumped the corporate hustlers and taken back public control of their water.

But, beware, for the corporations are trying to get congress to force your city to consider privatizing your water supply, or be denied federal funding for water improvements.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Don't let them steal this most precious part of our commons. To fight the water profiteers call Public Citizen: 202-546-4996.

"Contaminants, riots, rate increases, scandals. From Atlanta to Manila, cities are confronting the true cost of water privatization." Mother Jones, November/December 2002

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