Saturday 1st December 2012 - Japanese Against Nuclear UK (JANUK) took part in a demonstration for the environment in Central London, organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change.
Before the event, JANUK members were briefed on some of the world's leading environmentalists, including George Monbiot, who recently have taken up a pro-nuclear stance. It was noted that immediately after the initial phase of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Monbiot had written a letter to the Prime Minister saying that Fukushima demonstrated how "safe" nuclear power is - "No one has died,” he commented, “as a result of the multiple meltdowns in Japan.” The UK government continues to promote nuclear energy as one of its key strategies to meet the carbon reduction target. It plans to build a score of new nuclear reactors.
Our aims on the day, were to make a clear stand against nuclear power, where in the current climate it is promoted as one of the “green” sources of energy; and to persuade environmentalists that nuclear power is not an answer even in the short term, to global warming. During the pre-demo meeting opposite the American Embassy at Grosvenor Square, several hundred people gathered. Vegetarian curry was served to protesters for free. A giant mock shale gas pipeline was built in protest against Fracking.
JANUK joined the anti-nuclear block with fellow anti-nuclear power organisation Kick Nuclear during the demonstration. We marched through Central London shouting "No to nukes!", "No more Fukushima!" Wherever we went, the Fukushima call and the Japanese presence, seemed to attract the attention of the Christmas shoppers and holiday makers from all over the world. On passing the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) London office, we shouted "Shame on you, TEPCO!" Some members of JANUK were interviewed during the demo. After Piccadilly Circus, JANUK switched to the Japanese language for a while, to appeal to Japanese shoppers and tourists around the Mitsukoshi department store and the Japan Centre. Kick Nuclear had no problem with using Japanese phrases - they had had plenty of practice in their Friday protest against nuclear restart in Japan at the Japanese Embassy the previous day. A man in the crowd near Trafalgar Square approached a JANUK member and said he himself was from Fukushima. How did he feel about the name of his home region being at the very heart of an anti-nuclear campaign in London?
The demo ended in front of the Houses of Parliament, and here the post-demo meeting was held. Both John McDonnell, a Labour MP, and Natalie Bennett, the Leader of Green Party, denounced nuclear power in their speeches. JANUK members handed out the remaining flyers to climate campaigners and explained why nuclear is the most contaminating, dangerous and expensive form of energy there is. The Fukushima flag flying outside Parliament and by Big Ben was a much photographed icon for the day.
JANUK's campaign against nuclear power in Japan, the UK and the world, continues.
Sourse: JAN UK blog