Monday, August 20, 2007


I'm pretty sure what we're talking about here are cell towers. In any event, anti-mast protesters on Guernsey are concerned about possible health implications posed by the masts and the beauty of the island being destroyed.

The march yesterday was organized by the group No More Masts. They want to put a stop to plans to erect a slew more of these masts. Protesters walked along the seafront from the North Beach car park to Frossard House and handed a further petition to Environment Minister David de Lisle.

Deputies Mary Lowe, John Gollop and Brian de Jersey joined the protesters. Deputy Lowe, a long-time campaigner against the profusion of mobile telephone masts springing up across the island, said it was time the States started taking notice of what people are saying.

Electromagnetic energy expert Roger Coghill speaking on the island recently called for the masts on the island to be lowered. He believes the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines and standards, set nine years ago, which are aimed to limit public exposure to radio waves from base stations and mobile phones, are out of date.

One women who opposes the masts, Moira Le Huray, told the Press and Star last month that the march which took place yesterday would be, "...about the power of people showing themselves and their beliefs publicly."

By the way, according to the CIA factbook, "Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. Guernsey is a British crown dependency, but is not part of the UK. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation."

Guernsey is the home to the offshore operations of many of the world’s largest banks, investment.

The following article is from the Guernsey Press and Star.

Minister shaken by noisy mast protest

ENVIRONMENT minister David De Lisle yesterday faced a noisy crowd of more than 500 anti-mast protesters.

Visibly shaken, he accepted a petition signed by more than 3,000 people amid loud chants of ‘no more masts’.

Organisers had to quieten the crowd, which had marched with placards from North Beach car park to Frossard House.

There was a tense atmosphere while the protesters waited for the minister to approach the crowd and accept the petition.

Deputy De Lisle promised to deliver the appeal into the hands of his department but said that he could not make any public statement on planning matters while applications were still live.

‘Until a decision has been reached, the department’s position on any application must remain neutral,’ he said.

‘Because any additional comment could be construed by interested parties as taking a view before it was right to do so, it is not appropriate to discuss such matters in public. The department would, however, like to remind islanders that if they have comments on a proposal, they should put these in writing.

‘I would reassure islanders that all representations received are carefully considered by the department before a decision on any application is made.’

The States stands to make hundreds of thousands of pounds if it approves Guernsey Airtel’s applications to erect 56 masts. But it has refused to divulge how much and concerns have grown about transparency in the planning process.

No More Masts chairman Colin Falaize said he was not surprised by Deputy De Lisle’s neutral stance and added that the responsibility now fell with the department to make the right decision for the good of the island.

‘I didn’t expect Deputy De Lisle to tell us he would do everything he could to stop the masts going up. I didn’t expect him to say anything else than what he did,’ he said.

‘But I’m hopeful that today we have shown by the turnout the deep concerns of islanders and that the Environment Department will go away and look at these applications with this at the forefront of their minds.

‘The march was a huge success. We were looking for a thousand people and we weren’t far off that. This is just the first phase in fighting these applications. It’s the people of Guernsey we are representing, not ourselves.’

Long-time masts opponent Deputy Mary Lowe joined the protesters on the march. She applauded Deputy De Lisle for his willingness to accept the petition personally.

‘I was delighted he agreed to come here without hesitation and I hope people realise he did so against some considerable pressure,’ she said.

‘I’m certain he has taken people’s views on board and will report back to the Environment Department.

‘To see so many people give up their free time on a Sunday and come out in these windy conditions is a great response and it shows how passionate they feel about making the States listen to them.’

Police escorted the protesters as they marched along the seafront then up Fountain Street to Frossard House. A spokesman said the demonstration had gone smoothly, with only minor delays caused to a few motorists.

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