Mittwoch, 18. März 2009

No risky dams - but freedom of expression, please!

It´s the sort of thing I have done many a times. A big international conference. The opening ceremony. Loads of media ... Media ready to cover your story, if you just do something simple: Hold up a sign, unfold a banner. That sort of thing. The UN has gotten pretty used to this type of protest - and thankfully pretty tolerant too! Even at the WTO opening ceremony in Cancun 2003 we were not sanctioned for holding up signs denouncing the WTO´s undemocratice free trade mania (see picture above). So, shame on Turkey for completely overreacting to the banner reading "No Risky Dams" my friend (and neighbour) Ann-Kathrin Schneider unfolded at the opening of the 5th World Water Forum. Ann Kathrin works for International Rivers and her story of being deported from Turkey for this peaceful banner action deserves to be heard:

1 Kommentar:

Ann Kathrin hat gesagt…

Thank you for your blog Daniel - it is really good to know that people held up protest banners at opening ceremonies of official meetings before and were not arrested and deported for what they did. In the last couple of days, I sometimes thought that maybe it was naive to not factor in the possibility of deportation when we planned the action. But reading your blog and talking to many people both inside Turkey as well as abroad, there are many who would have never anticipated such a harsh reaction from the Turkish police and were utterly shocked by this reaction. My colleague Payal just posted an interesting blog on our experience with the title, "Why I risked arrest" - worth a read.