French Polynesia nuke workers promise to keep fighting
The Nuclear Workers Association says they won't give up on justice, and will hold the French Government accountable.
Workers affected by the nuclear tests in French Polynesia say they will continue to hold the French Government accountable over the impact.
France carried out 193 nuclear explosions on Moruroa and Fangataufa Atolls from 1966 to 1996 and next week is marking the 50th anniversary of the first test.
France has promised compensation for those with poor health resulting from exposure to radiation, but little of that has been paid out.
The head of the Nuclear Workers Association Roland Oldham explained the situation to Lucy Smith.
50 years since the first nuclear test in Moruroa. First test was 2nd of July 1966. 50 years? that's enough. Dragging us around with no result with the French government. It's not sincerely honestly the responsibility. This 50 years
we've organised something strong and powerful. Powerful in the meaning that there is going to be a march around the island of Tahiti. And this march will go all around the island and go to the centre Papeete. We'll arrive in Papeete on the 2nd of July.
So to us it is important because we're asking our own government and especially the French government to stop all this dragging around, to really solve the problem. We asked to organise a local referendum on the responsibility of the French government in this issue of nuclear testing for 30 years in Moruroa and Fangataufa. We are also having a look at compensation law, that does not compensate at all. Because out of 1000 presented for compensation, only 20 had compensation and of that 20 only 4 of them were from here. We think that's a really bad joke.
There has been a lot of efforts over the years to get the French government to take responsibility what do you think will be different this time?
The pressure is truly coming on from the people we have done a lot of peaceful demonstration and we've been too kind. They cannot carry on like that with the people. After a while people are going to have enough of all those promises. Things are going to get more radical. We cannot give up this battle, we cannot. We're doing this because its duty of any man, anywhere in the world. Because it is the future of our people, the environment of our country, the health of our children. We cannot abandoned this battle, our strength is our spirit. And we believe very much in that. Because our battle, we battle for the truth, the justice. We are not to give up, I repeat myself we're going to be more radical. Because it's been going on for years and years we never abandon and there is a feeling of injustice that we've been having in our hearts for so many years and one day it's going to blow up.
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