Yesterday activists staged a nuclear clean up on a beach in Cape Town. Here two activists speak about thier experience and what they were hoping to achieve.
Fukushima Day Of Action, Cape Town
After just a few hours of sleep we woke up at 3am feeling a bit tired, but very excited! We were about to stage a mock nuclear clean up on a little beach in sea point, Cape Town.
I was a part of a team that set up the 'radioactive' drum barrels along the beach. These were yellow barrels with the nuclear sign on them – the idea was to create a scene of what a nuclear accident could look like.
As the sun began to rise, joggers were stopping to check out the 'radioactive' zone that had banners around it reading “Stop Nuclear Now” and “Phansi Nuclear Phansi”.
Up above the beach, along the walkway, we had another team distributing flyers to people as they walked past the protest. Most were very interested and keen to chat with Greenpeace activists, enthusiastic to learn more about nuclear power in South Africa.
By 10:45 we called it a wrap, but stayed on a while longer, switching from a hypothetical nuclear clean up to an actual litter clean up because the beach was so dirty.
All in all I feel the action was a real success! We wanted to raise interest about nuclear power and what it might mean for South Africa. Hopefully we’ve helped push the message that nuclear is not the answer South Africa is looking for, and it has no place in a green, sustainable future.
Every time I’m involved in an activity, I somehow always have the same range of feelings. An initial nervousness in my gut the night before, the dread of the stupid o’clock wake up, and then the final one that engages every fibre of my being – the jubilation that is partnered with achieving a personal goal and of being part of something bigger than myself.
One of the most beautiful sights is the visible sense of accomplishment that washes over the entire team after each demonstration. Yesterday’s nuclear demonstration was no different; we simply wanted to put nuclear power on the agenda, raising the simple fact that a nuclear meltdown could happen at any of the world’s 437 nuclear. This is imperative for South Africa, we cannot let excessive expenditures, an extremely long time frame, and unregulated nuclear waste disposal plague our country.
There was one phrase that kept me motivated yesterday: “We inherited the Earth from our ancestors, and borrowed are stealing it from the future generations”