Saturday, April 14, 2007

Call to Join Chernobyl Protest Day

21 years ago, on the 26th of April 1986, a reactor melted down in a nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Byelorussians suffered most from this worst nuclear disaster in history. Since the 90’s the national-liberal opposition to the regime of president A.Lukashenko has been organizing the annual march "the Chernobyl way". Purpose of the demonstration is to draw the attention of the public to the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, and to criticize the government for failure to liquidate and to minimize these consequences. Since 1996 anarchists have taken part in the demonstration, but always in a separate column and with their own slogans. The purpose of the anarchist participation is to draw the attention to problems in which the leaders of the opposition are less interested. For example, Chernobyl revisionism - the conscious revision and underestimation of the consequences of the accident. Not only the Lukashenko government is involved in this, but also the international organizations (UN, World Bank, IAEA) "helping" Belarus.


The main themes of the anarchist mobilization this year are the government plans to construct a nuclear power plant in Belarus, and the cancellation of the benefits and allowances for the victims of the disaster.
The mobilization is also an occasion to spread information about alternative and decentralized forms of energy production.

Last year, at the 20th anniversary of the catastrophe, about a hundred anarchists carrying radical slogans and banners made a big difference with the boring and abstract protest of the "traditional" opposition.

This year we want to mobilize an anarchist bloc of at least a hundred participants.
We invite people from East, Central and the Western Europe to join our protest action!

Why does it matter?

On December, 1st, 2006 president Alexander Lukashenko declared that a new nuclear power plant will be constructed in Belarus. Engineering works at the prospective locations and negotiations with Russian and French suppliers of equipment have been started already.

The construction of the plant is supposed to begin in 2008.
Right now is the best possible opportunity to halt this process, and this is what anarchists and a number of other organizations in Belarus are attempting to do.
During all the years of governance by Lukashenko the rights of the victims of Chernobyl have been violated. The resettlement of the inhabitants of the polluted regions has been halted. Healthcare worsens. Benefits and allowances to victims and to people who worked in the liquidation of the consequences are being reduced and cancelled. More and more often official pseudo-scientific reports tell us that the illnesses of victims are caused by "mental issues", not by the continuing influence of radiation.

Why we participate in actions of national-liberals.

We are not allies of nationalists and liberals, we do not share their vision of the future of Belarus, their strategic goals and their methods of political activity. However we stand in solidarity with all the victims of repression on political grounds, irrespective of their opinions, and we support demands of oppositional human rights organizations such as for freedom of speech, of assembly and of association.

The political climate in Belarus discourages social and civil activity, especially direct action in the streets. In the conditions of Belarus it is not efficient to organize short small actions. Longer small actions in crowded places will almost certainly be brutally dispersed, most participants would be arrested. Only mass demonstrations allow us to avoid general arrest of activists. That is why anarchists participate in actions of the national-liberal opposition.

We join these actions also because at least the people who take part in these actions (usually several thousands, sometimes tens of thousands) will see our message, passers-by and passing cars will see our banners as well. It would be shameful to miss such an opportunity to spread our ideas.

Why we need your coming.

The anti-nuclear movement and even more the social movements of the most direct victims of Chernobyl are very weak and isolated in Belarus. The experience of international solidarity (instead of just humanitarian help) can strengthen the movement and convince the activists that they are not alone.

International support may also increase the interest of the media local and foreign and help us to get our anarchist message through.

Take care of your safety!

We will try our best to avoid problems with the keepers of "law and order" for our guests but here is some advice that you might like to take into account…
Avoid attracting attention when crossing the border (this is less of a problem when you come from Russia, as there is practically no border control between Russia and Belarus). Think of some "harmless" reason to come to Belarus if you are asked at the border. Do not carry any papers or other attributes that could be associated with anarchism or other oppositional political activity, until the action is about to begin. Keep a low profile in terms of clothing during all your time in Belarus.
Police will probably attempt to single out foreigners for arrest. We will try everything to avoid this for you, but you should count with the possibility that you will spend a few days under arrest in case things go wrong.

All our guests from abroad will be provided free housing in Minsk. Bring a sleeping bag and mattress. You will get a phone number of the legal assistance group when contacting us by e-mail.

If you have other friends in Belarus, please write to them directly to decrease our workload.

The anarchist bloc will be organized by Autonomous Action, the Federation of Anarchists in Belarus and other anarchists.

We will trash the repressive apparatus of the state!
The Nuclear Power Plant will never be built in Belarus!
Together we will win!

Date 10.04.2007
Sources: ;
(Russian: ;)
;
Alter-EE web site: http://www.alter.most.org.pl/fa

Contact: antinuclear07(a)gmail.com

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