Areva alarms police against Jaitapur solidarity protest in Germany

PETER Moritz

Letter from Jaitapur to nuclear workers in Germany

To the people working for

BPR Group
and other Areva suppliers in Germany

Dear friends,

we are the people from Jaitapur town and surrounding villages in India, where the Indian government has proposed world’s biggest nuclear power plant. We are mainly farmers and fishermen, surviving totally on the natural resources.

Konkan, the region in which Jaitapur belongs is naturally very rich and scientifically speaking an international biodiversity hotspot. The western ghat in which our villages belong to is combination of Sahyadri mountain range and sea is a world heritage site for biodiversity. So of course this region has nature’s bounty. A prominent tourist place of our state.

We welcome you and your family as tourists and we are sure you will enjoy our hospitality. But there are chances that you might come as a nuclear worker for this proposed nuclear power project, which Areva is building in our region and called as Jaitapur Nuclear Power Park. Around 2500 farmers have lost their farm land of around thousand hectare for this project. Our government has grabbed that land forcefully without our consent. Many of us were having only that much piece of land to farm. Those farmers are now landless. More than ten thousand fishermen are entirely depending on the fishing they do in the sea which is going to be polluted with hot water of this project. There is a big threat of losing livelihood of ten thousand fishermen permanently, as they lost in the areas having nuclear power plants running. So we, the thousands of fishermen and farmers are protesting against this biggest nuclear power plant for last many years. We request you to support our struggle against human right encroachment and to save our lovely environment.

We understand that you work for your livelihood and for your family, but somewhere your work is going to harm thousands of poor farmer’s and fishermen’s families and make them jobless. Being jobless in India and in Europe has vast difference. In India we do not have social insurance.

Please do not be part of the job which steals away jobs of thousands in other part of the world. German government has decided to phase out nuclear power because it is too dangerous. Nuclear power is not dangerous for people in Germany only. It is the same for all people all over the world. Or do you think our health and our lives are less important than those of German people. We ask you, not to export nuclear power plants. Please stop working for nuclear power.

Thanking you,

Yours friendly

Signed by the executive members of Jan Hakka Seva Samiti

October 20th, 2014 was the date of first screening of „Jaitapur Live“, latest documentary film by Pradeep Indulkar. Last year, Pradeep Indulkar won a “Yellow Oscar Award“ for his documentary “High Power“ about the effects of Tarapur nuclear plant on the villagers living near the reactor site. Almost seventy spectators joined the world premiere at University of Frankfurt, Germany, responding emotionally to pictures of fellow anti-nuclear activists struggling against the possibly world biggest NPP to be build in Maharashtra.

The following day, a couple of activists representing various anti-nuclear groups gathered in front of AREVA’s regional office in Offenbach, not far from the tower of European Central Bank (ECB). French state-owned AREVA is supplying Jaitapur NPP with crucial nuclear  technology – and they have two major branches in Germany. At the outskirts of Frankfurt, around 1000 employees are involved in administrational, engineering, and programming works for nuclear projects around the world. The company didn’t accept a letter of appeal to be handed over to its work council. Private security guards pushed the delegation away from AREVA’s premises. Finally, the appeal written by Jaitapur people not to work for such a destructive technology as nuclear power was read in English and German via megaphone from the pavement just outside the building.

Meanwhile Areva had made emergency calls to police. When several police vehicles arrived some minutes later, police realized that everything done was perfectly legal. So protest ended peacefully and without any harm.

Two days later, „Jaitapur Live“ was shown to an interested audience at the city of Stuttgart, capital of Baden-Wurttemberg state in south-western Germany. A small protest march had been organized for October 24th to target BPR’s office in the nearby city of Esslingen. BPR forms a middle-class network of engineering consulting companies, focusing on „Building, Planning, and Realizing“ of various projects around the globe. Likewise, several anti-nuclear groups from the region, a political drum group, and a coalition against “White Elephant“ or mega projects joined in the demonstration. The head of local BPR branch distanced himself „from any kind of nuclear projects“, assuring that their local office is not involved in any nuclear deal in India.
Anyway, BPR group got an award as „Top Supplier“ for  AREVA, and is known to be a service provider for AREVA in France, in Finland, in China and possibly also in India.

BPR’s employees had left office early that day, so speeches about the harmful effects of nuclear technology and Germany’s involvement in Indian nuclear projects were given to the local population. The appeal written by the people of Jaitapur and a copy of the Jaitapur film were put in the letter box of BPR.

For the past three weeks, Pradeep Indulkar has been touring different regions of France in order to show „Jaitapur Live“ in French version and to establish closer ties between the French and Indian anti-nuclear movements.

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