Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Preparations are underway for the April 26 "Chernobyl Way" demonstration in central Minsk, which will commemorate the 21st anniversary of the nuclear disaster that contaminated more than one-fifth of Belarusian land radiation.

Past “Chernobyl Way” demonstrations have been violently dispersed by the police with dozens arrested and accused of violating regulations on the organization and hold-ing of mass actions.

Russia is planning to build two nuclear reactors a year through to 2015 and four a year by 2020.

Russia and the U.S. are set to sign a bilateral agreement on nuclear power cooperation before year's end. A deal with the U.S. could allow for joint work on development of new nuclear reactors and setting up a global network of international nuclear fuel centers, among other issues.

Russia has further emphasised its plans to play a major international role in nuclear power plant construction.

"In the next thirty years the world is to build 300 to 600 GW of new nuclear generating capacity and Russia plans to have 20% of this market," said Rosatom director Sergey Kiriyenko, speaking at a recent Russian energy forum.

According to Kiriyenko, Russia is building a vertically integrated company, Atomprom, to operate in the civil nuclear industry and "compete with the world's leading nuclear power plant builders."

Russia has been working hard of late to ply its trade as a nuclear constructor around the world.

Makes you sleep better at night knowing that the guys who brought us the worst nuclear power plant disaster ever have such grand plans.

The following post is from the anarchist site A-Infos.

Belarus, Minsk, Anarchist call to Chernobyl day protest in on April, 26th 2007

21 years ago, 26th of April 1986, a reactor melted down in Nuclear power station in Chernobyl of Ukraine. Byelorussians were to suffer most from this worst nuclear disaster in history of mankind. --- Since 90’s, the national-liberal opposition to a regime of president A. Lukashenko has been organizing annual march "×àðíîáûëüñê³ øëÿõ" (" the Chernobyl way "). Purpose of the demonstration is to gain attention of the public to consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, and to criticize government for failure in liquidation and minimization of these consequences. Since 1996 anarchists have taken part to the demonstration, but always in a separate column and with their own slogans. Purpose of anarchist participation is to gain attention to those problems which are least interesting to leaders of the opposition. For example, to a problem of Chernobyl revisionism - conscious revision and underestimation of consequences of the accident. Not only the Lukashenko government is involved in this, but also the international organizations "helping" Belarus (Representation of UN in Belarus, World Bank, IAEA). The main themes of anarchist mobilization in this year are protest against the governmental plans to construct a nuclear power plant in Belarus, and protest against canceling benefits and allowances to the people who have suffered from Chernobyl disaster. It is also an occasion to spread information about alternative and decentralized forms of energy production.

Last year, in day of 20-th anniversary of catastrophe, about hundred anarchists with radical slogans and banners made a big difference in comparison to boring and abstract protest of the "traditional" opposition. This year we also plan to mobilize at least hundred participants to anarchist bloc.

We invite people from East, Central and the Western Europe to join our protest action!

Why does it matter?

On December, 1st, 2006 Alexander Lukashenko declared that a new nuclear power plant will be constructed in Belarus. Engineering works on prospective places of accommodation of the nuclear power plant, and negotiations with the Russian and French suppliers of the equipment are conducted right now. Building of plant is supposed to be begin in 2008. Right now is the best possible opportunity to halt this process, and this is what anarchists in Belarus and also a number of other organizations are attempting to do.

During all years of governance by Lukashenko, an infringement of rights of the people who have suffered from Chernobyl has been going on. The program of resettlement of inhabitants of the regions polluted by radiation is halted. Healthcare of victims worsens. Benefits and allowances to victims of disaster and participants of liquidation of its consequences, which used to be provided by laws in Belarus, are reduced and cancelled. More and more often we hear official pseudo-scientific claims that all illnesses of victims are due to “mental issues”, instead of constant influence of radiation.

We resolutely oppose "Chernobyl revisionism" and infringement of social guarantees for victims.

At last, we wish to talk about alternatives to the centralized nuclear energy, and to spread idea about decentralized alternatives, which are able to finish with mutual power dependence between regions. We will create initiatives which apply alternative (small, ecologically and it is industrial effective) energy sources.

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 repressions on political grounds, irrespective of their opinions, and we support such demands of oppositional human rights organizations, as freedom of speech, free assembly and free association.

The political climate in Belarus is adverse for any social and civil activity, especially what comes to street actions of direct action. In conditions of Belarus it not efficient to organize small actions which will not last more than five minutes. Longer but small actions in crowded places will almost certainly be brutally dispersed, most of their participators arrested. Only mass demonstrations allow us to avoid general arrest of activists. This is why anarchists participate to actions of national-liberal opposition.

We join these actions also because at least people who join these actions themselves will see our message (and this is usually several thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people), casual passers-by and passing cars will see our banners as well. It would be shameful to miss such opportunity for spreading our ideas.

Why your arrival is necessary to us?

Antinuclear movement in Belarus, let alone social movements of the most direct victims of Chernobyl, is very weak and is isolated. The real sensation of the international solidarity (and not just humanitarian help) can really help with its becoming. Participation of activists from abroad will enable anarchists of Belarus to feel friendly support, very important during present hard times.

At last, the international support in our action may increase interest from side of local and foreign media, and may help us to get anarchist message through.

Take care of the safety!

We will try our best for our guests to avoid hands of "law and order", but here comes some advice you would like to take into account…

Try to not to attract attention when crossing border (this is less of a concern if you are arriving from Russian side, as there are practically no border control between Russian and Belarus). Figure out some "harmless" purpose of arrival to Belarus to be told to border guards if asked. Do not carry any press or other attributes which could be associated with anarchists or other oppositional political activity, until action is about to begin. Keep low profile in terms of clothing during all of your time in Belarus.

It is likely that police will attempt to single out foreigners for arrest. We will try to do anything to save you from this, but you should be prepared to spend few days under arrest in case things go wrong.

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

All our guests from abroad will be provided free housing in Minsk. Take a sleeping bag and mattress with you. You will receive a phone number of legal support group after contacting us by e-mail.


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

Anarchist bloc in Chernobyl day demonstration will be organized by Autonomous Action, Federation of Anarchists in Belarus and other anarchists.

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