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Olkiluoto blockade

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Olkiluoto blockade

Saturday August 28 was the day of the first publicly announced blockade of a nuclear site in Finland ever. More than 100 activists from Finland and other countries did several blockades on the roads to the nuclear power plant. While a bigger blockade with picnics, sit-ins and other activities closed the entry to the main access road to the NPP blockading also several times the highway passing this place, smaller action groups showed up at many points on the roads to the power station.

The police could not prevent most of the actions, although they closed a huge area of public roads for everyone who was not a resident or a nuclear power plant worker. Even media had no access to that region. However, activists used the forests to reach the forbidden area and successfully blockaded many roads for up to nine hours.

While smaller action groups had spread over the region closed for public by the police for that day and did several blockades with sit-ins and lock-ons, a bigger group of more than 50 activists blockaded the access from the highway E8 to the main road to the nuclear power plant (NPP) Olkiluoto for some 9 hours. In the time between they several times also blockaded the highway for a couple of minutes.

The police had announced a few days before to follow the wishes of TVO (operator of the nuclear power plant) to keep the roads open and allow protest only besides the streets. Rumors said that (para-)military and special riot police forces were stationed at the plant and in the forests close to the power station. There have been also police on the water around the peninsula on which the plant is located, some people reported. Actually, most blockaders just saw a few police units at the main access road junction to the highway and at important junctions of smaller access roads to the plant, where they had street barricades to stop public from reaching this public area.

In Finland's countryside "everyone's right" is ruling - private property owners of land can't prohibit anyone to go to the forests, camp there, have camp fire etc. Only a small circle of a couple of meters around houses are protected against trespassing. Anyway, there are exceptions for capitalist companies (of course), and the nuclear power plant has a security area because of risks of terrorist attacks and whatever. But even they are limited and although a huge area around Olkiluoto is owned by the atomic industry the prohibited area is small and public is allowed to use the forests very close to the power station.

People made music, had talks with local people, showed banners to the cars on the highway next to the blockade, discussed about nuclear power and chances to fight against it and had picnics, coffee and cakes. Cars leaving the nuclear area were usually allowed to pass the blockade as well as ambulances or other emergency cars. In the beginning the police forced people to let a few trucks pass, too. But later, when the blockade had been completely established and the smaller blockades of other roads were also closing streets, traffic had been stopped here totally.

The police arrested 30 activists.

Source: Indymedia Germany, 29 August 2010