Some German friends have sent us this transcript of speech made at a demonstration in the Frankfurt International Airport on April 28th, 2012. In the demonstration, the German activists expressed their solidarity with the ongoing struggle of people in koodankulam. They also raised the issue of the German tourist Hermann Sonntag Rainer being deported by the Indian authorities to raise the “foreign-hand” bogey.

On 28 Feb Rainer Hermann Sonntag was landing here. He came with Lufthansa from Chennai in India. He did not return from a business trip. He did not come voluntarily. He had been deported from India to Frankfurt. Quite a rare event, normally deportations are from Frankfurt. Mr. Sonntag had quit his job as software engineer to live off savings. In India, his daily budget of 10 Dollars was sufficient. He was living there so to speak as an “economic refugee.“

Mr. Sonntag had been arrested the night before his deportation in a low-budget hotel near Kudankulam and was brought to Chennai. In Kudankulam, on the southern tip of India, two nuclear power plants are supposed to be put into operation. They where built by the Russian company Rosatom. Nuclear power plants of the same construction type have also been built in Temelin, in the Czech Republic.

Last year in September, the putting into service of the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam has been interrupted. Allegedly Mr. Sonntag is to blame for this. The Indian media accuse him of pulling the strings and financing the massive opposition against the nuclear plant. They claim that the locals have been bribed by foreign countries. People engage in the allegedly lucrative resistance, holding hunger strikes and blocking the access road instead of working. The western countries are accused of fostering the protests in order to hinder progress and development in India. The evil and alien was given a face, the face of Mr. Sonntag.

Protest at Frankfurt International Airport, April 28, 2012

Activists expressing their solidarity with the Koodankulam movement

The operating company claims that the nuclear plant in Kudankulam is the safest in the world – earthquakes and Tsunamis cannot affect it. But the people know what a Tsunami is. Some thousand people are living in evacuation shelters in sight distance of the nuclear power plant – since the Tsunami of 2004.

In mid-March of 2012, work in the nuclear power plant resumed. Since then, the region around Kudankulam has been under emergency rule. Police and paramilitary forces harass the population, activists are threatened with life imprisonment. They are being accused of violent upheaval against the state and terrorism. But the resistance movement’s actions are deliberately nonviolent, in the spirit of Gandhi.

Kudankulam is one of six new nuclear sites in India. All of the six are planned to host enormous nuclear power plants with several reactors – just like in Fukushima. It is planned to quadruple the production of nuclear energy by 2020.

The French corporate group Areva plans to build a nuclear plant in Jaitapur, south of Mumbai – again, the world’s “safest” EPRs, just like in Olkiluoto, Finland. Jaitapur is a earthquake-prone area. The people there do not want the Areva nuclear plants either. A year ago, on April 18, police shot Tabrey Soyeker, a local fisherman, at a anti-nuclear demonstration.

Areva is still negotiating the contract. According to international standards, the operator of the plant is liable, never the manufacturer – no matter what crap he has delivered. However, according to Indian law, the operator can hold the manufacturer liable up to 300 millions dollars. But Areva finds this too risky – even for the world’s “safest” nuclear power plant.

For Jaitapur, a so-called Hermes debt guarantee (made by the German Federal Government) has been requested, supposedly for securing employment. The German trade union IG Metall considers 1.000 jobs at risk if there is not a follow-up project for Olkiluoto. Jaitapur could then become this follow-up project.

In Germany, more than 5.000 people work for Areva and nuclear energy, for devastation, disease and death.

We appeal to the colleagues at Areva Offenbach, Karlstein and elsewhere:
“Deboard! Take responsibility for your actions!” A crime remains a crime even when it has been ordered by the superior.

Decommission nuclear money makers – in Frankfurt and worldwide!  The present is a terrible time to waste.