The other Castor blockade in France

Personal account by Cécile 10.11.2004 14:14 Themen: Atom
Much was said about the fatal accident in France. Photos were published, including on Indymedia, confusion was caused. The press did its job badly!! There were two chaining-on actions in France. The first near Laneuveville was SUCCESSFUL. The second failed and the train ran over Sébastien…I took part in the first action and would like to report here and write down a few personal thoughts.
In Laneuveville near Nancy I chained myself to the rails together with Camille. Twelve other people with a banner were with us on the rails. We sang good songs…Our action took place at 11:15 am.

The train stopped more than 300 metres from our blockade, no one was endangered. The police had to use heavy equipment to remove us. The CRS (special riot unit of the police) were not skilful! The train was stopped for more than two hours.

We were led off in handcuffs like serious criminals and the death train drove on at 1:25 pm.

It was one of the most successful blockades in France yet, I think it was the second…..great mood….the two “chainees” were put in detention and released again in the evening. The other activists had their data taken down and released. Two had been questioned.

By this action the activists wanted to alert the population to the dangers of atomic power and atomic waste transports.

For about a year it’s has been even more difficult to inform about atomic power because a lot of information is classified as state secrets.

We also wanted to show the atom lobby that we are able to defend ourselves, despite the weakness of the anti-atomic movement in France (compared to Germany, where thousands demonstrate…).

Pictures and film of the action will follow.


BUT our joy didn’t last long … The accident happened about an hour later.

I received the sad news from Avricourt when I was still in police detention.

A smiling policeman came to me and said, “I’ve got bad news for you, the train has just run over a person”.

I was and am still shocked and enraged. It was all the more difficult being in a cell on my own, unable to talk to people. …. The people had tried to stop the train, just like us. For reasons unknown to me the train didn’t stop.

I suspect the train was too fast and the helicopter wasn’t there.

Our action group does NOT know the other, but we are all shocked and express our solidarity. The group was just as experienced as ours (although unfortunately the press has reported the contrary).

I was not there and want to say no more about the accident. I don’t want to judge.

I’m thinking about Sébastien today ... the burial will be today and this evening mourning demonstrations will take place in France, at railway stations in many towns. …

Many thanks, too, for the solidarity from Germany. We need that! We don’t want heroes or martyrs …. We get in the way because ATOMIC POWER kills. The atom-state is to blame!!!

Press needs sensation …. the confusion

The press reported appallingly on the events: pictures of our action with reports about the fatality. This caused confusion….but the press wants pictures, it needs sensation….Only the newspaper "Est Républicain" reported the events fairly well.


We are all in shock and need time to think. But we will keep getting in the way.

Atomic power kills daily. Usually it’s a slow death: leukaemia in children round the La Hague processing plant, irradiated workers in “normal” operations of power stations, exploitation and illnesses in Africa and wherever else uranium is mined…

We must organise our defence. We two “chainees” are accused of interference with rail traffic. The state attorney is investigating and will announce in the few days whether we’re to be charged, which is likely.

We will conduct political trials. The judiciary are also investigating whether the two informal groups know each other.

We need direct action!!! Chaining actions will continue. At least I hope so. Especially in France, where usually there is no discussion of atomic power.

New atomic power stations are even being built (EPR reactor). No one takes any notice of “classic” demonstrations. Direct actions and imagination remain a strength....

To be honest, I still need a lot of time to think... I’m thinking about Sébastien... But the resistance must go on, no matter what!!! "Because atomic waste only brings us death we’ll get in the way, we want to live, live, live, we want to live..."


Below is an article from the newspaper Est Républicain, for those who understand French.


« C'est le nucléaire qui l'a tué »

NANCY. - Elle était, dimanche, l'un des deux manifestants qui se sont arrimés aux rails à Laneuveville-devant-Nancy, bloquant le convoi de déchets pendant deux heures. Placée en garde à vue, Cécile, 22 ans, a été libérée dans la soirée, après avoir appris le drame d'Avricourt de la bouche d'un
policier. « J'étais secouée. Et c'était d'autant plus difficile que je n'avais pas de contact avec l'extérieur ».

Non, Cécile ne connaissait pas le jeune Meusien qui a perdu la vie. Mais pour elle « c'est le nucléaire qui l'a tué ». Elle estime d'ailleurs que cet accident n'aurait pas dû arriver, que la sécurité n'était pas assurée.

L'hélicoptère de surveillance était absent. Il aurait dû refaire le plein pendant que nous nous bloquions le convoi à Laneuveville ».

Elle marque un instant de silence. Ajoute aussitôt : « Mes pensées vont d'abord vers la personne qui est morte. Mais il y a aussi de la colère. Parce qu'il faut des drames pour que l'on pose la question du nucléaire ».

Alors oui, malgré cette tragédie, elle est prête à retourner sur le ballast s'il le faut pour stopper un autre train. « Parce que c'est un des seuls moyens pour se faire entendre, parce que le nucléaire fait des morts ».

Mais elle insiste sur le fait qu'il faut prendre énormément de précautions. Comme son petit groupe l'avait fait à la sortie de Nancy, en signalant sa présence, en réalisant des signaux lumineux, en attendant l'arrêt du train pour s'attacher au rail.

Hier soir, Cécile devait, bougie à la main, participer à la manifestation prévue en mémoire de Sébastien Briat. Et de répéter : « On pense d'abord à lui ».

(Translated by Diet Simon)
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