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Subject: Itoiz summer hike, plus latest news


28th August - 1st September 2002

The international protest camp will this year be transformed into a hike in the mountains, valleys and by the rivers of the Itoiz area, spending the nights in villages, and with their inhabitants, it will visit the dam site with the combination of Party and Protest of previous years, but this time on the move. We will keep you informed in later correspondence with details on the hike: Itinery, activities, conditions, infrastructure etc. Put it in your diaries.

Until next time, an embrace of solidarity,




Oct 2001 - Apr2002

After the international protest camp organised by our collective, which constituted a real success in it's participation, these are the latest reports in relation to this project.

Actions which took place on Oct 31 and Nov 1 for the release of Iñaki Garcia Koch and a halt to the dam project

As you know Iñaki Garcia Koch is one of the 8 members of our collective who cut concrete supply cables at the dam works, was arrested in a routine police control in June last year. He is currently serving a 4 year 10 month sentence in the prison of Iruña/Pamplona. To demand his release and a halt to the dam project various actions of protest took place in different parts of the Basque Country and the Spanish state.

In the 4 provincial capitals of the Basque Country: Iruña (4 arrests), Bilbo, Gasteiz, and Donostia various people chained themselves to the interior of different public [?}. In the Spanish state there were numerous actions of protest in Granada (one protester was detained and accused of being a terrorist sympathiser), Castellon (protest heavily suppressed by police), Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona, Leganes, and Badalona. In all these actions other hydrological projects and the entire "Plan Hidrologico Nacional" were also denounced. On these dates the action of simultaneously sending faxes to the director of the Itoiz dam project also took place and signatures are still being collected for a manifesto supporting the release of Iñaki. If you wish to express your solidarity and support to Iñaki you can write to him in prison in Iruña at the following address: Iñaki Garcia Koch, Carcel de Iruña, C/San Roque s/n, 31011 Iruñea Basque Country.

Action of Solidarios with Itoiz at the stone laying ceremony of the canal of Navarra

3 members of our collective disrupted the official stone laying ceremony to inaugurate the building of the "Canal de Navarra " when they arrived naked and interrupted the actual stone laying. Despite the very high security the 3 managed to arrive cross-country to within meters of the Spanish Environment Minister and the president of Navarra. They were arrested and later released.

This 177Km canal beginning at Itoiz, with an estimated cost of 625 million Euros is in theory for the irrigation of 53,000 hectares in lands in the south of Navarra (La Ribera). We say in theory because, we believe that in practise the canal in it's entirety will never actually be completed, that the true objective of the construction of the Itoiz reservoir and other reservoir projects in the Ebro valley (Cuenca del Ebro) is the immense program of waterways designed in the "Plan Hidrologico Nacional" to carry huge quantities of water to Catalonia and the Mediteranian coast. Favouring the interests of industry, development, tourism and intensive farming.

This canal will be nothing more than another ecological and economical fiasco within the senselessness of everything relating to the project of Itoiz.

Demonstration of over 300,000 people in Barcelona to demand the scrapping of the National hydrological plan (Plan hidrologico Nacional)

On the day before the summit of European leaders in Barcelona there was one of the largest demonstrations against this insane project, which will result in the building of nearly 200 new reservoirs (in the country with the highest number of reservoirs per square Km per habitant in the world) with a vast network of waterways. If it goes ahead it will result in the ecological destruction of unexpected consequences greatly worsening the environmental unbalances which already exist.

This is a key moment for the execution of the plan, now that the government of the European union have to decide to economically support (more than 30%) this barbaric plan or not.

Delays of 1 year in commencing the filling of the Itoiz reservoir

Both the environment minister and the Navarran government had announced the beginning of trial filling of the reservoir for spring last year, but something in their calculations was wrong. Not only have they not filled it, but they have announced more delays taking the date to the end of this present year. The reason for these long delays is no other than the fear of an incalculable catastrophe resulting from the filling of the reservoir.

The 2 independent engineers of recognised prestige, Arturo Rebollo and Antonio Casas, warned more than a year ago of the geological instability of the area in which the dam has been constructed. Predicting the possibility of 7 different risks of a disaster if it is filled, resulting in the death of thousands of people living near the waters not only below but above the dam. As if this is not enough, there are also serious doubts to the resistance of the foundations of the Asco Nuclear plant (situated on the banks of the river Ebro) to flood waters in the event of the dam overflowing.

Up till now the authorities have ignored the engineers report, even ridiculed it. The Emergency Program approved by the Spanish government is based principally on the report. The said program contemplates the possibility of catastrophes similar to those described by A. Rebollo and A. Casas, putting in danger the lives of 66,000 people in Navarra and tens of thousands in Aragon including the residents of Zaragoza, not counting the millions of people who could be affected by the consequences of the dams possible overflow on the Asco nuclear plant.

This emergency plan doesn’t even include measures for the evacuation of the people (in many cases impossible) it is limited to warning the population with the use of sirens!

13th April 2002 Demonstration in Iruña/Pamplona


Some 3000 people were present on the march from the centre of Pamplona to the prison where Inaki Garcia Koch has been imprisoned for the last 9 months. The march was colourful and noisy with sirens which ridiculed those of the emergency plan which the Spanish Government plans to install to warn the population in the event of an accident at the dam.

When the march arrived outside the prison (where Inaki could hear) one of the solidarios who has a warrant out for his arrest, read an end of demonsration announcement. He then slipped away due to the large police presence. In the announcement Solidarios con Itoiz stated the necessity to keep up the fight against the building project and the filling of the reservoir, which is planned for next winter. A speech written by Inaki from the prison was also read out.

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