Press release from the association “Voices of Nuclear” following the aggression suffered by its members during the March for the Climate in Paris on Saturday, November 6, 2021
Last Saturday, November 6, 2021, members of the association Voices of Nuclear were attacked while participating in the “March for the Climate”, organized in Paris on the sidelines of the COP26 in Glasgow. This aggression is the latest in a series of similar events that aim, in France and in Europe, to prevent, but also to discredit, a citizen’s voice in favour of nuclear energy in a context of energy transition. Far from being an isolated act, this aggression reflects an antidemocratic drift that is even more regrettable as it takes place in the midst of a climate emergency.
During the “March for the Climate” on November 6, 2021 in Paris, five members of the Voices were victims of attacks (torn signs, jostling, insults, degradation of their personal effects), and intimidation (requests to leave the march, following them ostensibly throughout the event).
What were they accused of? Reminding the public that nuclear is the most carbon-free energy in France, which makes it the only G20 country to have an electricity sector already aligned with the Paris Agreements. These citizens wanted to recall that this technology is an important solution in the fight against climate change, and “denounce the alternative of gas, supplemented by renewable energies, represented as more beneficial, to guarantee the electricity supply of the populations” explains Myrto Tripathi. The Voices of Nuclear strongly denounce these unacceptable acts, especially when they are committed by people, some political activists, demonstrating not only for the climate emergency but also for a more inclusive democratic expression. The association assures its attacked members of its support and sincerely thanks the people present that day who came to their aid, those who showed curiosity, will to listen and benevolence and those who do not accept that the ‘you can mistreat someone for their ideas.
“These kinds of acts are unfortunately not isolated. The assault took place following that suffered the day before by other members of the Voices, also demonstrating” says Myrto Triptahi, present at the demonstration. Pro-nuclear activists have also been attacked and intimidated during Climate Marches in Belgium, Germany and Netherlands. Public debates, organized in particular within the framework of the National Plan for the Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste, are also regularly the scene of strong reactions, if not violent against a citizen expression favourable to nuclear power. Finally, the far too regular denunciation of all citizen expressions as being that of the “lobby”, without any evidence but with the sole objective of invalidating an opinion deemed unacceptable can only be considered as a form of denial of democracy, but also as legitimisation of the attacks against citizens presented as “lobbyists”.
We regret that violence and stigmatization are, for some, the only valid forms of communication when the urgency has never been greater to face the challenges of climate change. “Reasonable, concerted action supported by scientific facts should take precedence over all other ideological or personal considerations, in the common interest” concludes Myrto Tripathi, president of the association.
As such, the Voices would like to inform that they will be present in Berlin, this Saturday, November 13, with other members of European pro-nuclear civil society, for a demonstration in support of keeping German nuclear power plants in operation scheduled to be closed prematurely next year, when German coal-fired power plants are not expected to be closed, at best, until 2030.
Bullying will not be enough, we will have to be convinced with facts.
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