Published in French on 15 June, 2018
Today, in Bure as in all the nearby villages and more distant towns, preparations are in full swing for the festive demonstration on 16 June at Bar-le-Duc, eastern France. Several thousand participants (at least 2000, with 1200 coming in buses) are expected outside the Meuse Prefecture. The 13 June issue of L’Est Républicain devoted two central pages to this "festive family day", with interviews and a positive-sounding article entitled "Bure: Debate now Open at Bar-le-Duc." Lectures in the morning, parade and entertainments in the afternoon until 9pm. The organisers, notably EODRA (the association of elected representatives opposed to the burial of radioactive wastes) have cooperated with the Prefect, the Town Hall and the local businesses to make this a peaceful event, without damage and without confrontation with the police. We are hopeful about this.
On 13 June I was in Bure and visited the "House of Resistance" on the invitation of Joël, a former member of the house, and had conversations with the people living there. There are currently some forty of them, including volunteers who had arrived for June 16. In the evening I took part with about twenty people in a debate about nuclear weapons and their links with nuclear power-generation. Most were very interested in this, knowing little of nothing about it (average age around 25), and the discussion lasted more than two hours. I was able to present the evidence that military nuclear technology lay at the origin of nuclear power, which serves as an alibi for it, a kind of fig-leaf. The struggle against nuclearism "from the mine to the wastes" will be victorious when the public uthorities are forced to decide on and implement an exit from both military and civilian uses as quickly as possible. It would be best if that decision - however it is made - comes before the nuclear catastrophe. But it is not necessarily easy to get people to see this obvious fact.
The people in the House of Resistance are still traumatised by the illegal "search", in fact a home invasion, the brutal arrests, the removal of computer files and other data, which took place on 22 February 2018 in the wake of the physical evacuation of the Bois Lejuc. A carful of gendarmes still parks night and day near the House. Several trials have taken place against demonstrators and others, and more trials are proceeding against presumed "leaders", who were "identified" because they were spokespeople for the opponents of Cigeo, and who had been pursued ever since the first search on 20 September 2017 (legal, made with a warrant, in connection with the charge of "association of felons"). It is not surprising that the occupants of the House of Resistance don’t really feel that they are living "free from legal encumberance". As far as I can judge from their very "cool" welcome, they nevertheless are overcoming that painful experience and preparing optimistically for tomorrow’s festive and convivial day.
ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire) supports this festive demonstration and calls on our compatriots to take part in great numbers and to turn it into a great public debate.
Jean-Marie Matagne, President of ACDN