Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Defending Water for Life in Maine: tabling at the Common Ground Fair

Defending Water for Life organizers Denise Penttila and Chris Buchanan spent three days in Unity, ME at the Common Ground Fair, September 23rd – 25th, an annual event sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, which attracts people from all over the state. Chris writes:

Over the course of the weekend, we talked with hundreds of people. We used interactive activities to draw people, including a poster-sized anti-bottled water pledge for folks to sign and drawing on quilt squares to add to our water quilt (pictured at right).

We had the opportunity to talk about taking a rights-based approach to undermine corporate power and to educate many people about how to empower themselves at the local level. Only a few people had ever heard about this method. Folks who approached us with concerns about Nestle in their towns or neighbors’ towns appeared excited and inspired by the end of our talks!

We also learned a great deal about some core issues concerning Maine residents that want to buck the bottle, but feel helpless. In many locations, Mainers have problems with arsenic and radon in their water. This is a rural, well-water issue that we will address more moving forward. It was powerful to hear so many people across Maine share their stories and their passion for water.


Anonymous said...

I met you folks at the Common Ground fair in 2011.
Is there a risk of Maine water being transported in bulk by pipe or ship?

Anonymous said...

I met you at the common ground fair.
Is there a risk that Maine fresh water will be able to be transported out of state by pipeline or ship?

Alliance for Democracy said...

The short answer to your question is yes--in fact, one of the concerns in the development of any East/West corridor is that a pipeline as part of the project could facilitate transport of water, or even of tarsands oil from Canada. Fortunately there is a lot of opposition to the East/West highway from all across the state.

Long-term, what with climate change and projected water shortages, it will be even more important for communities and regions to be able to protect local resources from privatization and for-profit exploitation.

We'll be back at the fair this year, by the way. Stop by and say hello!