March 14 is the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams. Every year, thousands of people around the world lift their voices to celebrate the world’s rivers and those who struggle to protect them. The International Day of Action for Rivers is a day to celebrate victories such as dam removal and river restoration. It is a day to take to the streets, demonstrate and demand improvements in the policies and practices of decision makers. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.
The European Water Movement will be participating at the World Social Forum this March in Tunis. Our main aim is to build up links with local and regional groups and set up a Euro-Mediterranean Alliance to facilitate the exchange of experience and information. Many North African countries are currently facing the same problems we have in Europe namely with the threat of privatization of water services and unconventional energy sourcing projects such as hydraulic fracturation.
From March 10 to 18, 2012, the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME or Forum Alternatif Mondial de l’Eau) was held in Marseilles, France. The event was organized by associations and movements, trade unions, NGOs, citizens and elected representatives from all over the world.
The first European Social Forum took place from the 6th to 10th of November 2002. Ten years later, much has changed: the historical context, the political situation (in Italy and all over Europe), social movements, civil society networks, etc.. When we set out to do an event for the Decennial of the ESF, we were not thinking of a celebration or any nostalgic memory. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to look at the present and future, and how to join forces from all over Europe because the moment is serious and we must act together.