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Protesters strip at a global meet

The Hague, Netherlands

Two naked protesters confront Egyptian water resources minister during his speech at the Second Water Forum.(AP)

The opening session of an international conference on global water problems was disrupted on Friday when protesters ripped off their clothes to protest a Spanish dam project.

Egyptian water minister Mahmoud Abu Zeid looked on in silence as a man and woman disrobed in front of the speakers’ podium to reveal the name of the controversial dam painted on their backs and buttocks.

Other activists did not strip, but scaled the walls of the conference hall and hung from the ceiling to protest what they claimed was the conference’s intention to sidestep crucial environmental issues like the Itoiz dam project in northern Spain’s Navarra province.

Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander stepped to the podium and asked for restraint from the protesters. The protest overshadowed the start of the five-day, UN-sponsored Second World Water Forum, which will discuss new ways to ease water shortages and improve environmental and sanitary conditions worldwide.

The police had to use a bolt-cutter to remove one protester who chained herself to a chair.(AP)

 
 
 
 

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