Hiroshi KannoGlobal Justice Ecology Project
President; Board of Directors
Hiroshi's exposure to global issues and concerns began in a very innocuous way. After retiring to a farm in south central Wisconsin in 1996 after 30 years of government service, he and his wife learned that a major bottling company planned to build a large bottling plant covering over 80 acres of land across the road from their farm. They further planned to pump 500 gallons per minute (over 270 million gallons per year) of their groundwater. The transnational corporation was Perrier owned by Nestle, the biggest food company in the world. At first they were curious when Perrier refused to meet with them and answer their concerns but then became dismayed then angry as information about the bottling company began to leak out.
Undaunted by the odds against them, their rural community organized and fought back. The history of the struggle is documented in the book"THIRST, Fighting the Corporate Thief of Our Water", published by John Wiley and Sons 2007. It was a struggle, but Hiroshi and his community beat back the corporate giants and sent them fleeing from their state.
During their fight against Nestle, Hiroshi and his wife realized that Nestle's local taking of their water was part of a greater struggle going on around the globe. To learn more they traveled around the world attending water forums and world social forums in Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Miami, Venezuela and Canada. They talked with others involved in this struggle and learned more about global justice issues. They met Orin Langelle and the GJEP efforts in Cancun and have been supporters ever since.
Briefly, Hiroshi's personal biography. He was born in Seattle, Washington in 1937. As Japanese-Americans, in 1942 Hiroshi and his parents were interned in a camp in Idaho. They left the camp after one year and moved to the Midwest where he has lived ever since. Hiroshi and his wife raised 8 children in Chicago where he went to school (Univ. of IL and Univ. of Chicago). His wife's family was from WI so they retired to a quiet 70 acre farm where they hoped to settle into a serene peaceful life with nature. They are still waiting for that to happen.
Contact Hiroshi at:Hiroshi Kanno
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