INTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-BELARUS:
COMMON ACTION AGAINST NEW NUCLEAR POWER IN BELARUS:
This coming April will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster, and no area of the ex-Soviet Union suffered more from the effects of this incident than what is now the country of Belarus. Now the government of the "independent" state of Belarus is planning to build another nuclear plant. If anything the new state of Belarus promises to be even more shoddy in safety considerations than the old Soviet Union- if you could imagine that being possible.
An independent group in Belarus is organizing against this initiative, and they are calling for international support. The following is a news item from the Russian anarchist news service Avtonom. It has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar. For those interested in more on anarchism in Belarus try the following sites:
***Much (most) of the movement in Belarus is without websites. For an extensive listing of groups with email and physical addresses see the Eastern European Abolishing the Borders From Below.
A call out for common actions against the construction of a new nuclear power station in Belarus:
26 April, the day of Chernobyl nuclear accident.
А callout for common actions against the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Belarus. 26 April – the day of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Present-day Belarus is a post-soviet country with a police state. The current neoliberal regime holds strong positions. For 14 years already the country has been run by one and the same person – Alexander Lukashenka, who used to be a populist, but now is openly pursuing antisocial reforms.
Fundamental political freedoms - of speech, of the press, of assembly - are not recognized in our country. Political opposition, independent trade unions and non-governmental organizations are suppressed. Political trials, preventive detentions, dispersions of peaceful gatherings – all this has become a norm of political practice in Belarus.
A few years ago the ruling elite started to consider another venturesome project – the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP). Lukashenka took a decision regardless of the public wishes and common sense. The decision was made with the active support of the international nuclear lobby. The construction is to be undertaken by a Russian corporation “Rosatom”. It is to be held in a seismically active zone, several dozens kilometers away from Lake Naroch – the largest lake in Belarus, which is ecologically unique for our country and is a tourist attraction. $4 billion will be spent on the construction, which otherwise could be outlaid for development of alternative energy.
But the above-listed points pale before the fact that Belarus received 70% of the radioactive contamination after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. But the government and the president are absolutely not concerned about that. They want to create a delayed-action bomb in the country, where one third of the territory is unfit for farming and most other activities.
We, “Antinuclear Resistance”, an anarchist group, come out against the nuclear power industry as a whole and against the NPP construction specifically in Belarus. A part of the political forces in Belarus, including some 'oppositional' parties, supported the NPP construction. Unlike them we do not believe in NPP safety irrespective of the political regime, within which it is functioning and being constructed. Our activity is based upon non-authoritarian principles; we do not cooperate with any political parties, but we are eager to cooperate with ecological organizations and grassroots initiatives.
On 26 April, the day of memory about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, an annual demonstration “Charnobylski Shliah” (“The Chernobyl Path”) takes place in Minsk in commemoration of the accident and the people who became the immediate and lingering victims of it. Starting with the year 1996 anarchists take part in the demo with ecological and antinuclear slogans. But nowadays the demonstration, instead of just a mourning and commemorative event, is gaining a protest mood: in the country, where dozens of thousands people have died as a result of the nuclear accident aftermaths and hundreds of thousands have acquired accident-caused illnesses or become handicapped, a new NPP is to be constructed! And that is done according to the common practice of an authoritarian police state – not asking the people’s opinion, but just confronting them with the fact.
On 26 April we will again take a most active part in the “Charnobylski Shliah”, we’ll try to pass along to everyone our clear antinuclear position and will inform as many people as possible of the approaching danger. But now it is not enough! As an instrument of struggle against the state lawlessness we rely on the international support.
We urge anarchists, environmentalists and all people of the world to carry out solidarity actions on 26 April 2009. We call for a decentralized day of action of any form, which could help people learn something about our problem and stop the impudent authority and their sponsors from the IAEA.
If you are already taking actions on 26 April on your local problems concerning nuclear power engineering, please put on your list the demand for abolition of the NPP construction in Belarus. You are also welcome to participate in “The Chernobyl Path” in Minsk and other actions in Belarus.
Together we will be able to stand up for the right for life on a clean and ecologically safe planet!
If you have any intention to make solidarity actions with the Belarusian antinuclear movement or participate in the demonstration in Belarus please contact us:
Spread the callout through any accessible for you information channels.