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Nuclear injustice to the people of Marshall Islands

And now the US government is washing it hands of the people of the Marshall Islands. Aid, funding and compensation are being cut off and forced returns to the contaminated islands are being contemplated

Remember the Rainbow Warrior and the Marshall Islands | Greenpeace International, 9 July 2010, Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by the French secret service in New Zealand’s Marsden Wharf. It is the day we remember our colleague Fernando Pereira who was killed in the attack. He was just 35.The bombing was personally authorised by then French president François Mitterrand and was intended to prevent Greenpeace from leading protests against French nuclear weapons testing on the Moruroa Atoll.

Just three months before its sinking, the Warrior helped evacuate 300 residents of the Rongelap Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of Operation Exodus.

The islanders were escaping from the deadly radioactive contamination – the legacy of years of US nuclear testing – which had caused radiation sickness and birth defects in their  children. This was despite reassurance from the US government that Rongelap was clean and safe.

Successive US governments’ moral duty to the islanders and the Marshall Islands has fallen woefully short since the days of its atomic testing. The people’s rights and health were secondary to nuclear weapons

In 1982, a policy was secretly established by the energy department during the closing phase of negotiations between the United States and the nascent Republic of the Marshall Islands over the Compact of Free Association to eliminate radiation protection standards, so as to not interfere with the potential resumption of weapons testing. This resulted in a sudden and alarming increase in radiation doses to the Rongelap people eating local food……………..

Then there’s the radioactive test dump on Runit which is cracking despite being just 30 years old and designed to protect waste that will be dangerous for thousands of years. The US Department of Energy has declared ‘the US has no formal custodial responsibilities for the site’.

And now the US government is washing it hands of the people of the Marshall Islands. Aid, funding and compensation are being cut off and forced returns to the contaminated islands are being contemplated

This year, the 25th year since Rongelap Islanders’ voluntarily evacuated their radioactive island, they are facing a U.S. ultimatum – move back to Rongelap in 2011 or face cutoff of funding support for the community at Mejatto Island in Kwajalein Atoll.

Remember the Rainbow Warrior and the Marshall Islands | Greenpeace International

July 10, 2010 - Posted by | indigenous issues, OCEANIA | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Today (Saturday 10 July) is the 15th anniversary of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior bombing by French agents. To mark the date, New Zealand On Screen has launched four titles exploring anti-nuclear protest and the politics of New Zealand’s ‘no nukes’ stand.

    The movies can be watched online, for free.

    When a Warrior Dies – a documentary on the aftermath of the bombing and the efforts by Greenpeace and sculptor Chris Booth to create a remembrance monument.

    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/when-a-warrior-dies-1991

    Fallout – excerpts from award-winning Tom Scott and Greg McGee-scripted mini series dramatising events leading to NZ’s 80s ‘No Nukes’ stand

    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/fallout-1994/series

    Mururoa 1973 – a landmark Alister Barry doco about protest flotilla who risked their lives travelling to French nuclear testing zone at Mururoa.

    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/mururoa-1973

    A Nuclear Free Pasific – documentary on the long struggle for a treaty to declare the South Pacific free of nuclear arms.
    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/a-nuclear-free-pacific–niuklia-fri-pasifik-1988

    Comment by fenestra.f | July 10, 2010 | Reply


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