Saturday March 9, under a beautiful blue Parisian sky, a human chain, organized through the initiative of the Sortir du Nucléaire Network with the participation of 31 humanitarian, environmental organizations, linked together. Each organization was allocated one of the 18 key points such as the headquarter of Areva in La Défense, west of Paris, the Opera district where KEPCO’s Paris bureau is located and the Ministry of Finance in Bercy, east of Paris where they kicked off the human chain. About 20 000 participants formed a human chain between La Defense and Bercy, 36 km, connecting nuclear industry, nuclear policy makers and nuclear financing banks.
The French sector of the association of anti-nuke Japanese living abroad, Yosomono-Net and Sortie du Nucléaire Paris (SNP), were allocated the Opéra quarter in the midst of Japanese restaurants and shops, where the KEPCO Paris branch and the Areva city-centre branch are located as well as the headquarters of BNP, the bank investing heavily in nuclear industry. About 1 000 Japanese and French gathered for the assembly at 13:30, starting with the percussion performance of the Brazilian group Batucada and the speech of Denis Baupin, a parlament member from the Green Party. Anti-nukes reggae singer Komandant Simi also contributed with his singing. After Kansho Odori, showing solidarity for women in Fukushima, the chain started to link in the direction of our targeted buildings, and once it was connected, participants cried No More Fukushima. In front of the city centre office of Areva, a big banner was placed saying “Nuclear wastes: endangering life and health” and several chains surrounded it. Spontaneous die-in was also seen. The headquarters of Areva in La Défense was also surrounded beautifully by the human chain. Around 16:20, the human chain ended with one minute of silence for the dead by the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear accident.
At 17:30, a larger assembly with concert was held in the Bastille area. Musicians on stage and booths of various groups who had participated in the human chain created a lively atmosphere for the anti-nuke movement. The messages from Ruiko Muto, fighting in Fukushima against the incredible injustice committed by Tepco and the government, and Satoshi Kamata, one of the organizers of the 10 million people’s action were read aloud.
The day before this event, the Japanese embassy in Paris had issued an extra mail-magazine and warned the Japanese community not to come close to the scheduled areas of the human chain. However, police were hardly seen along the human chain.
Kasumi Fujiwara Yosomono Net