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Bin Veolia

Sutton for Peace and Justice is urging the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) Joint Committeeyou to exclude Veolia from the shortlist of companies bidding for the SLWP waste treatment infrastructure contract, due to the company’s involvement in activities in illegally occupied Palestine.

South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) is a joint initiative between Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton and Sutton councils to the handle household waste from the four boroughs and minimise the amount sent to landfill. SLWP is currently carrying out a process to award a 25-30 year contract to develop waste treatment infrastructure, worth £990 million. Veolia is bidding for the contract.

Through their activities in occupied Palestine, Veolia companies  are supporting and helping to entrench Israel’s illegal occupation, aiding discrimination against and grave abuses of the human rights of the Palestinian population, making themselves complicit in breaches of international law, and profiting from  this illegal and unethical activity.

Specifically:

·      Veolia Transport, a subsidiary of Veolia Environment, is a leading partner in the consortium building the light rail tramway system linking West Jerusalem to illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, that will cement Israel’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem and tie the illegal settlements even more firmly into the State of Israel.

·      Veolia owns and operates the Tovlan landfill site in the occupied Jordan Valley, that processes refuse from illegal settlements.

·      Veolia runs two bus services 109 and 110, operated by its local company Connex, that link illegal settlements to Israel by a road on which until recently West Bank Palestinians were forbidden to travel, as well as two other bus services serving illegal settlements in the West Bank.

·      Palestinians’ ability to carry out their lives and to move between their homes and places of work and education have been severely restricted and their property has been expropriated by the Israeli authorities in and around the illegal settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

·      Numerous UN resolutions and the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the wall have confirmed that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the annexation of East Jerusalem are illegal under international law and that Israel as an occupying power is bound by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

·      In April 2010 the UN Human Rights Council declared the tramway and its operation – which Veolia is contracted for – to be illegal, with the UK, along with all EU members of the Council voting in favour.

·      The London session of the Russell Tribunal, investigating international corporate complicity in violations of human rights and international law perpetuated against the Palestinian people, concluded that: “It is clear from the evidence of witnesses that this conduct is not only morally reprehensible, but also exposes these corporations to legal liability for very serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

·      Veolia and Alstom are currently being prosecuted through the French Courts by the Association France Palestine Solidarite (AFPS) for violations of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, that states that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” “any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons… is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”.

Veolia as a company is responsible for its subsidiaries and contractors and is therefore complicit in activities that breach international law and violate human rights.

We believe that our local authority and our elected representatives could be brought into disrepute by being involved with, and financially supporting through their contracts, a company whose actions are clearly illegal and unethical.

The SLWP should therefore exclude Veolia from their tendering processes, as  other local authorities have already done .

 

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