OK , I get it — Nuclear power is not the answer to climate chaos. But what can I do?

This question brought the Stop Nuclear Power Network to­gether for our first gathering and needs revisiting regularly. Be­low is not a complete list but it is aimed at getting the creative juices flowing ...

We decided as a network to attend the local consultation sessions and public meetings, but we wanted to do more. So we added to the mix with actions at the energy companies offices (EDF) in Bridgewater near Hinkley, and visible cam­paigning at Nuclear Industry/bu­si­ness conferences; we disrupted Parliamentary meetings with Eon, EDF, Scottish Power and Horizon, and on the last day of the consultation, we had a 10-hour blockade of the Sizewell power stations in Suffolk.

All successful and sustainable campaigns need the support of local communities. Groups that oppose nuclear power exist near nuclear power stations around the country, which is a good place to start if you haven’t campaigned in that area before. Some of these groups have been campaigning since the first sta­tions were built and they really know their stuff!

Knowing the locality, how local people feel, and understanding the issues at specific sites is crucial to building a mass move­ment, so the importance of local groups cannot be overstated.

Direct action is key in resisting nuclear power – pester power works! At the moment, investors are feeling nervous about in­vesting – nuclear power makes no economic sense already, but if they have pesky activists to deal with that puts them off even more.
Direct action can also be a use­ful tool in raising public aware­ness. Local press – and some­times nationals – are interested in actions we take and this can provide a chance to put our views across and dispel the nuclear industry's myths.
Visiting the energy suppliers to leaflet the workers and passers-by, or an office occupation, is another option. Many compa­nies are involved in new nuclear build: call them, write to or visit them, to tell them why working in or investing in the nuclear industry is a bad idea.
Visible campaigning is impor­tant. The nuclear industry is good at being visible – holding conferences and even visiting schools to pull companies and investors in and gain public support. But there are more of us than there are of them – we may not have the money or the government connections, but we have creativity, determination and the solutions.

On page 2 of this paper is a time line, and there are many other dates to work to. We have to step up the campaigning – everyone can be involved, no matter how much time or expe­rience you have to put in. You might great at research, filling in the consultation forms, street theatre, canoeing, climbing, mo­bilising, leaflet designing, fund­raising, cooking, taking direct action, facilitating, or staying positive, all of which are neces­sary to build a stronger network.

So far I have not mentioned writing to your MP. It’s a nice idea to write to them, and most of the NGOs involved in cam­paigning against nuclear power/ centralised fossil dinosaurs can help you do this. But writing to or visiting your MP is not enough – to build a strong move­ment we need to be visible as well as informed. Its good to pester you MP, but don’t let the pestering stop there!!

See you all at the wire, or the offices, or the conferences, or in parliament or on the streets or at the camps or even – dare I say it – ... in the meetings of the Stop Nuclear Power Network!

Mell Harrison

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