A large scale protest at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in South India is being threatened, while mainstream media coverage on events over in the country has been close to non-existent. The Power Plant, which carries Uranium, is yet to comply with safety regulations and is thought to be risking the health of locals.
Weather conditions in the place of the protest are described as extreme and Dr Kate Hudson of a UK based anti-nuclear organisation describes the actions that the vast amount of people are protesting against are ‘draconian and undemocratic’ procedures of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.
Latest developments indicate that a large number of police and paramilitary have now surrounded the protesting citizens, threatening violence and arrest. The Indo-Russian power plant is fueled with uranium from the USA and France, yet hasn’t released one safety analysis report, is accused of oppressing the lives of one and a half million people living within 20km reach of the plant. The nuclear plant is also responsible for a range of serious environmental problems that have been ignored and left unaddressed.
Images from the protest paint the picture of a peaceful and passionate demonstration about a large nuclear power plant that has serious safety and environmental concerns, located in a densely populated area of both humans and wildlife. Not only is it criminal that 20,000 people are being simply ignored and threatened with violence for standing up for themselves and their community, but it is also criminal that the Indian authorities think it’s appropriate to go in all guns blazing.
It’s not just India who are ‘cracking down’ on protests, it’s a global trend; Egypt, USA, Syria, the UK and many more have all taken harsh measures in recent times. Some of the most extreme crack downs of late have been on South African miners who have been on strike, with a number shot dead by Police.
There has been nuclear disasters in the past and there will be more as long as such plants are in operation. Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011 are just two horrific examples. It looks like we may have to begin to protest more to protect our freedom to protest sooner or later.
In the mean time you can support the protest at the Koodankulam Nuclear Plant by getting your signature on this petition and spreading the word about the cause of the protest itself. If you don’t know much about nuclear power, weapons and the threats that we face, please take some time to conduct your own research.