BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival Online for Free

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Stories of peer pressure, love, marriage, schools, siblings, friendship, passion, protest, cycling, and activism wrapped in to five beautiful short films made by a group of gay, lesbian and trans filmmakers. Now online for free. For the first time ever, in partnership with the British Council’s fiveFilms4freedom project, five short films from BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival are available to watch online, for free, worldwide. Click here to watch and click here to read more.

On a related note, there are a set of films being brought down to the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai by three curators from Germany. They will present works addressing various kinds of conflict around issues of nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, family history and migration. They look into which cinematic languages are appropriate to show case stories of conflict and how cinema might shape our understanding of conflict. Everybody is welcome and entry is free. Here is the poster – (Event on Facebook)

identity and conflict einvite

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Anugundu – The Atom Bomb | Documentary

Anugundu – The Atom Bomb ( Tamil with English subtitles) – YouTube. 48 minutes.

A film by Manila Mohan, a journalist with a Malayalam literary magazine, who visits the protesters in Koodankulam. The documentary details many pitfalls in the building and commissioning of the nuclear power plant in Idinthakarai, Koodankulam. It interviews many of the villagers, including women and children, who express concerns about their safety, the stupidity of such an unsafe technology, and question for whom is this development and electricity that the States promise.

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Sea Siege in Koodankulam 08 October 2012

(Photographs by Amirtharaj Stephen)

Launching another phase of their anti-nuclear protests in Koodankulam, thousands of fishermen from Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts began a day-long siege by placing themselves in fiber boats surrounding the area shouting slogans from 500 metres in the sea. This is a token siege as they will not be allowed to get any closer to the power plant.  PMANE convenor S P Udayakumar (quoted from Firstpost) said –

“We have been appealing to the state and central governments that this power plant is not in the best interest of safeguarding the livelihood interests of the people in the area”, he said.

Udayakumar added that the entire world was shunning nuclear power, and it was imperative that the government did not drag India in the opposite direction. “We are all for power and development but not this costly and dangerous exercise,” he said.

Speaking to the media even as the villagers of Idinthakurai prepare to launch a jal satyagraha 500m away from the site of the Kudankulam plant, PMANE convenor Udayakumar said that they were demanding that the heavy police presence at the village be withdrawn, and that charges against them be dropped.

NDTV reports

The protesters are demanding the closure of the plant, citing safety concerns. The locals say they are worried about ecological damage by radioactivity which could affect the livelihood of thousands of fishermen around the plant. Activists have also cited the Fukushima disaster in Japan, triggered by a tsunami last year, to draw parallels about the dangers of a nuclear plant. 

The villagers are also demanding the release of those arrested in an earlier protest, and taking back what they term as false cases against activists. They also want the police to be withdrawn from their villages.

The sea siege happened from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on 08 October 2012. Over 5000 security personnel, including the Rapid Action Force, had been deployed, besides the five coast guard vessels monitoring the sea.

(click on image to view gallery)

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People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy – Press Release September 12, 2012

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai 627 104

PRESS RELEASE
September 12, 2012

Let us Do Some Soul-search and Talk Again!

Just like a hapless wife brutally assaulted by her male chauvinistic and drunken husband, like an innocent little child beaten up by his abusive parent, our honest, hardworking, and pious people have been violated, their possessions vandalized, their 400-day long nonviolent movement vilified. By our own government! By our own Chief Minister who we brought back to power to rescue us from corruption, power abuse, nepotism, dynastic rule and double speak! An overwhelming majority of the Tamil voters including almost all the coastal communities voted for the Chief Minister’s party.

When the biggest nuclear power plants in the country or the largest nuclear power park is being set up on our seas that will have deleterious effect on our sea and seafood, land and crops, water bodies and ground water, on our livelihood and on our progeny, we have opposed peacefully, democratically and nonviolently. Don’t we have at least that much freedom in our country?

In fact, the Chief Minister sympathized with our cause in the beginning. She had objected to the Chennai visit of the nuclear-armed ship, the USS Nimitz; and she had opposed the India-US nuclear deal with so much conviction. Our team met with the Chief Minister twice and the Prime Minister once at her own personal initiative. The Chief Minister kept talking about solar power and other renewable sources of energy, kept demanding more electricity from the central pool and more finance for electricity projects in Tamil Nadu. She even said that she would be one among us in our struggle.

We took to the streets, voiced our concerns to the Central Government and asked them to stop the Koodankulam nuclear power project, change our energy policy and to save our natural resources. The District Collector, Dr. R. Selvaraj, entertained us in his office and served us tea and biscuits. The Superintendent of Police, Mr. Vijayendra Bidari, gave oral ‘go-ahead’ every time we sought permission over phone for our demonstrations, agitations and public meetings. But they kept on filing false cases on us all with serious charges such as sedition, waging war on the state and so forth.

The ‘love scene’ changed to ‘hate scene’ in March 2012! The script changed! The situation, the lighting, and the overall direction changed! The Chief Minister alleges that we are all in a ‘maya valai’ (mystical net). Maybe she is referring to nuclear radiation that is indeed like a ‘maya valai’ you cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch.

Today we are surrounded by police, beaten up by police, harassed by police, accused of committing all kinds of crimes by police, arrested by police and above all, mentally, emotionally, spiritually assaulted by police. And the Chief Minister is the police minister!

We are all fisherfolks, shopkeepers, agricultural laborers, beedi-rolling women, and to be brief, working class people. We do not steal public money, we do not amass wealth through illegal business deals, and we do not plunder the nation’s natural wealth. But we are treated like criminals; dangerous, seditious, violent, vicious and wicked lawbreakers. Our leaders, who have been invoking the names and wisdom of Thiruvalluvar, Buddha, Mahavir, Ashoka, Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Mother Teresa, are treated like dreaded terrorists. Our people who worship Sage Vishwamitra, Lord Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohamed are treated with contempt and dislike. The St. Lourdes Church at Idinthakarai has been desecrated by urinating and a holy statue destroyed. Naval boats are patrolling our seas; air force planes are hovering over our villages; the police are blocking our roads; we are short of food, water and other basic essentials; and the state is waging a war on us! But we cannot do a thing!

The global nuclear mafia sees our people as their sworn enemies. The KGB, the CIA and other international intelligence agencies consider us serious threats to their respective ruling cliques. The Delhi Government is infuriated with us as they are worried about their billion dollar nuclear business deals and commissions and kickbacks. The Tamil Nadu Government also tends to treat us like dreaded terrorists and dangerous criminals.

The police have shot down an unarmed civilian Anthony John at Manappadu coastal village. Several people including a small baby are said to be missing. Some 53 nonviolent protesters, men and women, are charged with sedition and waging war on the State cases and are languishing in distant prisons in Tamil Nadu. Thousands and thousands of families are living in fear and despair.

We do not expect or want any awards or accolades for practicing democracy and protesting in a nonviolent manner. But can’t we be treated with a little bit of humanness, civility and dignity? Who should we turn to? Who could we talk to? The Chief Minister may not even see this. Her arrogant upper caste advisors may say everything bad about us and our lower caste people.

We would request the Chief Minister to stop fuelling the KKNPP, remove police from our area, provide compensation for the people who lost their boats, vehicles and household items, and release those who are arrested.

We thank all the leaders and members of various political parties, social movements, lawyer associations, fishermen associations, student groups, labor unions, village committees and other organizations in Tamil Nadu and other states for organizing various demonstrations and agitations in support of our struggle. We would solicit their continued support for our struggle and for the above-mentioned immediate demands as well.

The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

Mass RTI Campaign Seeking Urgent Information Under Life and Liberty for Koodankulam

for updates KOODANKULAM SPEAKS

WHAT: Mass Right to Information Campaign seeking information within 2 days, invoking the “Life and Liberty” clause under Section 7 or RTI Act.

WHEN: 3 p.m. 10 September, 2012

WHERE: NPCIL Office. 51 Montieth Road

Egmore, Chennai 600 008

NPCIL proposes to commence initial fuel loading even as more than 20000 children, women and men are camped in the scrub jungle barely 500 metres from the nuclear power plant. International Atomic Energy Agency and India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board regulations require an exclusion zone of 1.5 km around the plant, within which no human population can be present.

In its hurry to commission the power plant and prove a point to its detractors, the Central and State Governments have thrown caution to the winds. In the event of a disaster during initial fuel loading, the NPCIL, the district administration and the people living in the vicinity are not equipped to cope. There are no medical facilities capable of handling radiological emergencies in the vicinity. Emergency drills have not been conducted in any sincere manner. The AERB’s stipulation on the minimum quantity of stand-by fresh water storage onsite has not been complied with.

The nuclear establishment’s “commission-first, safety later” is putting the lives of 1000s of people at risk. We request all concerned citizens to gather at NPCIL’s office at 3 p.m. with a Right to Information Application as follows:

DRAFT APPLICATION

To: Public Information Officer

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd

c/o Liaison Office, 51 Montieth Road

Egmore, Chennai 600 008

10 September, 2012

Sir/Madam:

Subject: Right to Information Application — Concerning Life and Liberty of more than 8000 people gathered near Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant — request for information within 2 days 

More than 8000 people, including women and children, are currently camped outside the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli. International Atomic Energy Agency and India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board regulations require an exclusion zone of 1.5 km around the plant, within which no human population can be present.

In its hurry to commission the power plant and prove a point to its detractors, the Central and State Governments have thrown caution to the winds. In the event of a disaster during initial fuel loading, the NPCIL, the district administration and the people living in the vicinity are not equipped to cope. There are no medical facilities capable of handling radiological emergencies in the vicinity. Emergency drills have not been conducted in any sincere manner. The AERB’s stipulation on the minimum quantity of stand-by fresh water storage onsite has not been complied with.

Given the above situation, the loading of fuel puts the lives of thousands at risk, and I request the below information to be given to me within 2 days as this information concerns the “life and liberty” of many thousand people.

1. Kindly list out the various recommendations of the AERB committee in its post-Fukushima review on safety and emergency preparedness, and the status of compliance to each recommendation related to the Koodankulam Power Plant.

2. Kindly state the AERB guidelines stipulating any restrictions for the total number of people present within the exclusion zone at the time of fuel loading or commissioning.

3. What is the minimum quantity of onsite water storage that has been mandated by AERB for KKNPP?

4. What is the total capacity of onsite water storage for KKNPP?

5. Kindly provide a list of medical facilities in Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts capable of handling a radiological emergency.

6. Kindly provide a list of places (in the following format) identified as temporary shelters for people in the event of a radiological emergency:

a) Name of Place, Address

b) Distance from Koodankulam

c) Capacity

d) Number of bathrooms

e) Number of latrines

f) Details of water facilities for bathing and toilets

g) Details of drinking water facilities, including capacity

Application fee of Rs. 10 is being presented as cash/postal order.

Sincerely,

POOVULAGIN NANBARGAL

MAY 17 IYAKKAM