Today (21 December) the North London Waste Authority announced that Veolia Environmental Services ‘ will not be submitting final tenders for either NLWA’s waste services or fuel use contracts’. http://www.nlwa.gov.uk/news/2012/2012/12/21/announcement-on-nlwa-procurement
Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:
‘Veolia’s bid for this waste contract which covers a vast area of North London was deeply controversial, with local residents outraged that such a toxic company could potentially provide services to them. Veolia is complicit in Israeli violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Veolia operates bus services to illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, is involved with the Jerusalem Light Railway which was designed to serve the needs of Israeli settlers, and Tovlan landfill which operates in the Jordan Valley.
This decision comes after a recent report by Professor Richard Falk – the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories – in which Veolia was singled out for its activities in the Occupied Palestianin Territories and after a campaign spearheaded by the No to Veolia Action Group, with Palestine Solidarity Campaign members in the area, actively campaigning against Veolia’s bid.
‘Desperate measures were used in an attempt to silence those who were standing up for justice and human rights, and opposing violations of international law. A Hackney council resident, Caroline Day, who wanted to put the case that the North London Waste Authority should not work with Veolia, was prevented from speaking at a full meeting of Hackney Council in November 2012. Local media reported that an organisation called UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) were involved in drafting the motion to prevent Ms Day from speaking.’
‘But even these desperate measures don’t stop the truth from coming out about Veolia’s toxic activities.’
It seems that Veolia’s complicity with occupation is causing it to be shunned across the world. In the USA, the St Louis City Board (Missouri) this week declined to approve a city contract with Veolia Water, putting off a vote on the matter until there can be a full investigation into the company’s involvement in ethnic discrimination in Palestine. The decision comes after campaigning by St Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace. http://www.stl-psc.org/?p=385
For more information on Veolia’s loss of contracts:
NLWA announcement: http://www.nlwa.gov.uk/news/2012/2012/12/21/announcement-on-nlwa-procurement
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/boycott-businesses-that-profit-from-israeli-settlements-un-special-rapporteur-9893