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Demo at Blaye

Published 11 March 2015

Saturday 7 March 2015 - anonymous report

There were between 127 demonstrators (police figure) and 149 demonstrators (organisers’ figure), from the Gironde, Charente-Maritime and Deux-Sèvres districts of Western France. They came to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster (a few days early), and to try to exorcise the future impending disaster of Chernoblaye-sur-Gironde.

We started wtih short speeches, at one end of the Allées, not far from Vauban’s historical citadel which (if a major or even minor accident occurs at the nuclear power-plant) will be powerless to protect the city from radioactive fallout. Stéphane Lhomme, of Chernoblaye, spoke of this death-carrying nuclear energy which threatens the future of our children and grandchildren, and which itself has no future, being bankrupt around the world, as is France’s glorious AREVA corporation. Jean-Marie Matagne, of ACDN, recalled the storm of December 1999 which almost caused in the nearby plant a disaster of the Fukushima kind, and the permanent danger of the four Moxed reactors, and also of France’s 300 nuclear warheads which could cause nearly a billion deaths... including French deaths.

Then a folksy baroque procession formed to march behind a poetic cart and drums of radioactive waste. Ah, the poetry of radioactive waste, so colourless, odourless and tasteless! It was a jovial demo. Three gendarmes visible. We marched passed the market. We handed out tracts to vendors and buyers. Lots of friendly dialogue, some more animated. For example with a decorated naval veteran, who had spent a good bit of his life on a nuclear sub. In the end he went away. Nuclear matters are like the armed forces: inscrutable.

We don’t regret coming. Just a bit disappointed at being so few. But happy to be enough, given a context which, frankly, could make one despair. Happy, indeed, see the same faithful “old comrades” as determined as ever to sound the alarm. Come, guys, “It’s only a start, the struggle goes on!”