Koodankulam and Jaitapur: Solidarity in Frankfurt, Germany

Solidarity Message

This speech was given in front of India House, Frankfurt, Germany on September 29, 2012:

Solidarity with the peaceful protest against nuclear power in Kundankulam

  • Worldwide, nuclear power is only 2 % of the overall energy production – but the entire world is suffering of the deadly consequences of this technology
  • Worldwide vast areas are being devastated for uranium-mining, -milling, and the further processing of uranium, and the storage of nuclear waste
  • Worldwide men, women and children are dying from the consequences of this technology, the nuclear contamination of their earth, water and air and the regularly occurring nuclear disasters
  •  And still Governments, instead of serving the interests of their people, make themselves the helpers of the international nuclear mafia and impose this deadly technology on their people – often with brute force.

Like in India, like in Kundankulam. You are struggling against the nuclear power plant and for your right to live without contamination and cancer being imposed on you, for your right to live in a healthy and sustainable environment – and for the lives and health of your children, who will be severely affected and endangered in the vicious neighbourhood of a nuclear powerplant.

You are struggling – peaceful and in the tradition of the great Mahatma Gandhi, who taught us civil disobedience.

Your protest actions are in our heads and in our hearts – we are united with you in the struggle against nuclear power.

Today we are mourning with you – We are mourning for three activists who have been killed in this struggle.

Tabrez Soyekar
Was shot on 18 April 2011 during a demonstration against building a nuclear powerplant in Jaitapur

Anthony John
Was shot in in Manapad, two weeks ago, on 10 September during a demonstration against the nuclear powerplant of Kundankulam

Sahayam Francis from Idinthakarai, was killed only a few days later, on 14 September 2012 during a demonstration against the nuclear power plant of Kudankulam. He was killed by a low flying plane, which caused his deadly fall.

Their dead shows to the whole world, the true face of those who are trying to impose this system of nuclear energy on you in India and on us in the rest of the world. Shame on the murderers!

Citizens of India, citizens of Japan, of Russia, of Germany, of France, Citzens of Australia, citizens of all continents and all nations: stand up together against nuclear energy, against nuclear destruction of our planet

For Love and Life and for the future of our beautiful planet. We shall overcome!
Ghandhi says:

All through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.


Bicycle Demonstration in Frankfurt (Germany) against Nuclear Companies and in Support of Indian Activists

September 29th was International Uranium Action Day, commemorating the nuclear catastrophe in Chelyabinsk, Russia on September 29th, 1955. Back then, a gigantic tank with nuclear waste exploded at Mayak Nuclear Processing Plant or “Chelyabinsk 65”, contaminating hundreds of thousands of square kilometers for centuries.

In Frankfurt on Main, central Europe’s banking capital, housing around 500 different financial institutions including the infamous European Central Bank, almost 120 activists gathered for their protest tour at 11:00h. Similar to last year’s bicycle demonstration on May 28th, 2011, a number of nuclear profiteers were targeted along a route of 12 kilometers. Young and old, citizens of various cities of the greater Rhine-Main area, folks of various ethnical backgrounds enjoyed perfect weather showing their colorful decorated vehicles.

First stop was in front of Urangesellschaft‘s international headquarters UG, meaning “Uranium Society”, is part of Areva corporation’s nuclear trading and mining branch, Exploitation of uranium ore deposits is contaminating gigantic regions of Niger (West Africa), Namibia, Canada, Australia, and Kazakhstan, amongst others. Radiation of water, air, and soil is spreading, poisoning staff and inhabitants, slowly killing thousands by cancer illnesses. For the profits of a few investors more exploration is advancing in Mongolia and Jordan. Uranium mining and trading already creates revenues of well over 100 million Euros (almost INR 650 crore) per month for French multinational Areva group.

Next stop was in Gallus district, where 27 years ago on September 28th, 1985, Guenther Sare, an anti-fascist and anti-nuclear activist was killed by police. While protesting against a meeting of Nazi party supporters he was run over by a big water cannon, dying on the spot. A commemorative address also reminded participants of other known victims, killed during anti-nuclear struggles since 1977 in France, Germany, and India.
On their way to Frankfurt’s city centre the bicycle caravan held another protest in front of BNP Paribas bank’s branch. (see Picture) Banque National de Paris is the world biggest nuclear bank, followed by Barclays Bank and Citibank, BNP Paribas is involved in virtually every large-scale nuclear project on our planet, financing lethal radiation to the amount of 13.5 billion Euros (or INR 810 billion) during the years 2000 and 2009 alone.

Hundreds of construction workers happily greeted the bicycle caravan and its mobile sound system playing cheerful tunes on the way to the Indian Consulate General.

Police had already cordoned off the entrance to India House, leaving a small strip of lawn to the protesters. First speech here was about the role of global consultancy giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), whose concrete tower rises just opposite India House in Frankfurt. In cooperation with Euler-Hermes, PWC is organizing guarantees backed by the German government. So called „Hermes Guarantees“ are officially backing export credits, funded by taxpayer’s money. Currently, German government is negotiating guarantees for nuclear power plants in India, Brazil, Finland, the Czech Republic, and England.

The emotionally most moving part of the day were speeches given in German and English on the situation in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, and Jaitapur, Maharashtra. While protesting peacefully against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Anthony John, Sahayam Francis, and Tabrez Soyekar were recently killed by Indian police.

Candles were lid and flowers laid down on the front steps of the Indian Consulate, banners raised and posters pasted on the iron bars meant to lock out demonstrators. One minute of silence was kept in memory of those killed.

Frankfurt Bicycle Demo – at the India House

About two kilometers away, the bicycle demonstration targeted the office complex of DGB Trade Union Federation. In most trades, DGB has a quasi-monopoly in Germany, being fairly close to governments and official institutions.

IG Metall, part of DGB, is Europe’s largest trade union, organizing millions of mechanical and metal workers. Though IG Metall is backing some anti-nuclear resolutions half-heartedly and double-faced, this union is still supporting Areva’s nuclear business in order to „preserve places of work“. A satirical speech was given and spoof posters put up at their front doors. The speaker called for a „different union“, that really strengthens human and worker’s right. The Union of Temporary Workers in Rajasthan’s nuclear industry gives us a positive example, declaring solidarity with the struggles in Kudankulam.

At the BNP Headquarters

Cycling along the Main River, protesters finally reached Areva Nuclear Power’s regional headquarters right on the city limit with Offenbach. Areva, vastly controlled by the French state, ranges amongst the biggest global energy corporations. The company is active in uranium exploitation and processing, production of nuclear rods, consulting, research and development of nuclear facilities, storage and transport of radioactive materials, etc. Billions of Euros in profits from disassembly of nuclear facilities are expected in the coming years.

Currently, Areva NP is building a new type of Pressurized Reactor (EPR) in Olkiluoto, Finland and the reactor blocks in Jaitapur .

The bicycle demonstration kept a very positive and inspiring mood during the whole tour.

Most important slogans were “Keep Uranium in the ground!” and “Close down all nuclear facilities worldwide!”





One Comment

    Join discussion: leave a comment