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Uranium vs Indigenous Peoples Project 1997

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#465
24/01/1997
Article

(January 24, 1997) The Indigenous Peoples Support Group of For Mother Earth in Belgium decided to work with priority on gathering information on the issue of uranium mining vs. Indigenous People.

(465.4613)WISE Amsterdam -As we all know, uranium was and is the fuel for nuclear testing, nuclear bombs and atomic power. Discovered in 1789, uranium today is portrayed by the nuclear industry and many governments as necessary for our security and welfare. However, we have learned that uranium is a deadly metal: the first step in an evil nuclear chain. Few people have received comprehensive information on the issue of uranium mining. And even fewer people know about the consequences of u-mining for Indigenous People around the globe.

Uranium mining literally creates mountains of nuclear waste. Within the nuclear chain, the most voluminous radioactive waste is produced by uranium mining and milling.

To make a difference we plan to:

  1. Publish a book
    In summer 1997 we wish to publish a book gathering comprehensive information on uranium mining activities around the world vs. Indigenous People, and deepen the work that was started on this issue by the organizers of the World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg 1992. An introduction should give the reader some insight on uranium mining, its place in the nuclear cycle, the effects on environment and health, and give an introduction on the global uranium market (supply and demand). In separate chapters, we wish to have a closer look on uranium mining in different continents, and gather facts on the many cases of opposition by the traditional caretakers of the land, the Indigenous Peoples. We are looking for guest writers to make this booka reality. Hopefully, we will find many local people who wish to contribute. Please feel invited to contribute, or make suggestions!
  2. European Indigenous Peoples Uranium Speaking Tour
    On October 10, 1997, a European Indigenous Peoples Speaking Tour will start in Brussels. The tour will last six to eight weeks. The purpose is to organize public events, non-violent actions, meetings with reporters and politicians, and to hear the testimony of Indigenous Peoples' representatives on the land-rights violations, the destruction of the environment and the danger for health. We wish to confront their experiences and views with the European demand for nuclear fuel for nuclear power generation. We plan to invite six Indigenous Peoples' representatives from Africa, Australia, Canada, South America, Tibet, and the United States. In 1996 major uranium mining sites were found on Indigenous Peoples' lands in:
    • Africa: Gabon, Namibia, Niger and South Africa
    • Asia: China, India, Kazakhstan and Tibet
    • Australia: Northern Territories and South Australia
    • Europe: France, Spain and Ukraine
    • North America: Canada and the USA
    • South America: Argentina and Brazil

    We also wish to have a photo exhibition traveling along with the tour. Please send us photographs if you have some available. Please feel free to contact us if you want to become part of it. So far we have received positive responses from the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Finland, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Denmark, France, Italy and Sweden. We suggest that local organizers start today by informing and lobbying their politicians. We also strongly believe that the organizers in the host countries plan non-violent actions to break the silence around the dramatic consequences of uranium mining. Host countries will take care of the transportation to and within their country, as well as food and lodging. A flyer is already available while an organizers' packet should be ready soon. Suggestions for fundraising are hardly needed. Soon stickers, buttons and T-shirts will be available.

  3. Video document
    And finally, after the tour, we wish to compile and produce a video documentary, hopefully of broadcast quality. A new electronic mailing list Yes, an ambitious project. This was also the reason for a new electronic mail-server. We wish to use this mailer to bring people together, to strenghten an 'active' network to oppose uranium mining, especially in relationship to Indigenous Peoples' struggles worldwide. We envision it as a switchboard, to pass on information and to ask for information, feed-back and cooperation.

Source, contact and help: If you want to become part of the speaking tour and/or send pictures, contact For Mother Earth - Speaking Tour Coordinator, p.a. Ria Verjauw, Overstraat 80, 3020 Veltem, Belgium.
Tel: +32-16-480036.
E-mail: rverjauw@dma.be
If you want to contribute to the book, suggest an Indigenous Peoples' speaker, contribute to the video documentary or subscribe to the electronic mailer, contact For Mother Earth, p.a. Pol D'Huyvetter, Lange Steenstraat 16/D, 9000 Gent, Belgium.
Tel: +32-9-2338439; Fax: +32-9-2337302.
E-mail: info@motherearth.org
For financial contributions, send small or larger donations with an international postal cheque to
For Mother Earth, Gewad 15, 9000 Gent, Belgium, Account # 000-1618561-19