By: Akgün Ilhan from the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive
Heike Drillish, CounterCurrent/Gegenstroemung, Germany
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These were two of the many slogans of the Platform against Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) who held a protest in Bilbao on 11 March 2011 Friday between 10.00 and 12.00. The officials of BBVA, who would hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Euskalduna Palace, did not let Akgün İlhan, an activist of the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive, to join the AGM by inventing various bureaucratic excuses. For this reason Jordi Calvo Rufanges, an activist of Barcelona Peace and Justice group, made a speech in the name of the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive talking about the proposed Ilisu Dam and the destruction it will lead to, and asking BBVA - who recently bought 25% of the shares of Garantibank, one of the three financial organisations behind the construction of the controversial Ilisu project - to withdrew from the Ilisu project. Meanwhile, two activists of the Platform against BBVA were protesting the investments by this bank with armament and other social-ecological destruction projects such as the Ilisu dam by pouring red paint over themselves symbolizing the blood of the peoples and individuals suffering from the actions of BBVA. The police immediately handcuffed and arrested them while the demonstrators of the Platform against BBVA responded applauding, whistling and chanting slogans ‘your money is covered with blood!'