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A Statement of Solidarity with the people of India
As citizens of the world we have been watching with awe, inspiration and great concern as masses of Indian people have risen up to confront the corrupt partnership of the Indian government and nuclear industry at the Koodankulam and Jaitapur nuclear sites. We have joined in solidarity with the organizers of this movement to resist the nuclear madness in India and in our respective homelands. The US/Indian nuclear partnership has been forced on India through a neocolonial relationship that is demanding the nuclearization of this important strategic ally to the US military industrial machine.
We understand that the plight of the Indian people is our plight as we fight back against the same nuclear madness forced on us by completely corrupted governments. Over 6,000 people face prison for their non-violent opposition to the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, India. We stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of people that are risking their lives to say NO! We stand in solidarity with the fisherman that have lost their lives trying to protect their ocean from the threat of radioactive poisons and the thousands of fishermen that continue to resist. We stand in solidarity with the people of India who have stopped eating in a hunger strike to draw attention to their struggle for a nuclear free future!
During the September 20th and 21st convergence on the US Capitol to call for an end to the production of nuclear weapons and energy in America, many voiced our concerns and shared our inspiration for and from the Indian people standing up to nuclear sponsored state repression in this struggle. The people protesting the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, India have been struggling nonviolently at the grassroots level to stop this plant since the 1980s. This movement has mushroomed in the face of opposition from the state and industry with tens of thousands of people powerfully and peacefully resisting this nuclear assault.
The ongoing Fukushima catastrophe in Japan is a profound reminder of the grave dangers associated with nuclear power, and the Koodankulam plant has also been constructed in an area susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis. This first new nuclear commissioning in India is happening without incorporating post-Fukushima safety recommendations, without any environmental impact assessment, without proper safety and evacuation drills, without auxiliary power generators and even without adequate crucial water supplies. However, the resistance being demonstrated in Tamil Nadu is about something even greater than the threat from nuclear power. It has become a people-powered struggle for freedom in a country that has long claimed to be the world’s largest democracy in the peaceful tradition of Mahatma Gandhi. In the past several weeks, fisherman have been killed, three Japanese activists have been expelled from the country, and an increasingly repressive hand has been coming down on this peaceful resistance from militarized police forces at the beck and call of the global nuclear mafia.
As a growing network of citizen’s groups across the United States and the world under the banner of the Coalition Against Nukes, we stand in solidarity with the people of India in this struggle for freedom and sanity. We demand a halt to the state repression and violence being perpetrated by the Indian authorities and we call on individuals, human rights organizations, and environmental groups to join with us by signing on to this statement of solidarity.
For A Nuclear Free Planet,
Coalition Against Nukes
Priscilla Star, Coalition Against Nukes
Michael Leonardi, Coalition Against Nukes
Aparna Bahkle, Coalition Against Nukes, Coalition Against Nukes LA
Professor Karl Grossman, Coalition Against Nukes, Investigative Reporter and Professor of Journalism
Jeffrey St. Clair, editor in chief at CounterPunch
Yuko Tonohira, Todos Somos Japon
Cindy Sheehan, Vice Presidential Candidate and Peace Activist 2012
Mali Lightfoot, Helen Caldicott Foundation
Gene Stone, Coalition Against Nukes, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment
Dr. Margaret Flowers, It’s Our Economy
David Swanson, War is a Crime
Kevin Zeese, attorney, It’s Our Economy
Mariko Bender, World Network For Saving Children From Radiation
Andrea Kalkstein Lieberman, Coalition Against Nukes
Terry Lodge, eco justice attorney and activist, convener of the Toledo Coalition For Safe Energy
Gail Payne, Radiation Truth, Coalition Against Nukes and Sierra Club’s Nuclear Free Campaign
Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Cathy Iwane, Coalition Against Nukes, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment
Sherry Lutz, Coalition Against Nukes, The Insurgency
Mike Ferner, Past president Veterans For Peace
Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, Program Director Hibakusha Stories
Carol Jahnkow, Director Emerita, Peace Resource Center of San Diego
Professor Chris Williams, writer and author of Ecology and Socialism, Shut Down Indian Point Now!
Dr. Lora Chamberlain, Nuclear Free Illinois
Rachel Clark, Manhattan Project
Nan Laney, Radiation Watch
Erica Gray, Coalition Against Nukes, Alliance for Progressive Values
Cecile Pineda, writer and author of Devil’s Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step
Junko Abe, Ikata People Against Mox
Dr. Ghassan Shahrour, Arab Human Security Network