Tremendous Success for an Active Network in a People’s Europe
More than 50 representatives of Chernobyl initiatives from nine countries met on Friday (29.11.2013) in Schwerte for a three-day exchange of experiences on the European Action Weeks “For a Future after Chernobyl and Fukushima”. “Our meeting shows in a very impressive way how much we have already achieved together through our Europe-wide solidarity movement in a people’s Europe”, summarised Peter-Junge Wentrup, Executive Director of IBB Dortmund which had hosted the conference.
Action Weeks 2013 reached more than 30 000 people
Through discussions with contemporary witnesses, candlelight vigils, concerts, and many other activities the initiatives reached more than 30 000 people in nine countries in March and April 2013. Commemorating for a joint future in Europe was at the heart of activities that took place in schools, churches, public spaces and in front of several national parliaments. “For many people it was a powerful experience to be part of a trans-European movement during the candlelight vigil on St. Stephen’s Square (Stephansplatz) in Vienna in the evening of the 25th of April – the eve of the anniversary of Chernobyl”, stated Bernd Hosticky of Global 2000 Austria. The umbrella association of the Spanish Chernobyl relief initiatives used the Action Weeks to recruit more host families for rehabilitation visits for children from the Chernobyl region. “Despite the difficult situation in Spain we managed to invite 1.200 children from Belarus”, reported José Antonio Dominguez Serrano of the umbrella association Fedasib. Dennis Vystavkin, Executive Director of the British association “Chernobyl Children’s Life Line” (CCLL) provided some practical tips. With the support of 32 initiatives he was able to reach around 10 000 people in Great Britain. “A good financing plan and advance planning are important.” And: “Everything takes more time than one thinks, but for this project every minute is worth the investment.”
Ten European countries are currently planning new nuclear power plants
Dr. Astrid Sahm, Head of the IBB office in Berlin highlighted that among the countries that take part in the European Action Weeks only Germany and Austria have achieved energy transformation. The governments of the seven other participating countries stick to nuclear energy or are even planning to go nuclear like Poland. In total four European countries are currently constructing nuclear power plants, ten further countries are planning to build new atomic plants.
Concerns about the children in Fukushima are growing
A report by Mika Kumazaki, an environmental activist from Freiburg, highlighted that the efforts need to continue: A critical public is observing with great concern that more and more children are developing thyroid cancer, limits are being increased and radioactive water finds its way into the sea. The citizen initiative “For a Future Without Nuclear Threat” together with Mika Kumanzaki launched the Japanese-German-Belarusian project “Energy Transformation in the Hands of the Citizens” this year in Rottweil. “It was not easy to find funds and supporters”, stated Angela Gessler, but in the end 18 young people from three countries came together in Rottweil to intensively discuss alternative energy sources.