Today 17 people face trial in Spain on charges of public disorder, damage and injury. The punishment being demanded is nearly three years in prison. In addition, Greenpeace may have to pay a fine of 360,000 euros.
Why? Because on February 15, 2011, 16 Greenpeace activists and a freelance photojournalist entered Spain’s Cofrentes nuclear power plant, climbed one of the cooling towers and painted “Nuclear Danger” on it. Greenpeace’s message is nuclear power is an obsolete, dangerous and expensive energy source. We advocate a 100% renewable energy model which is not only sustainable but also create jobs.
Greenpeace’s protests are peaceful actions. Our activists are people like you and me, who believe there is only one planet which must be defended. They are people – not heroes or heroines – who are afraid, nervous and suffer. They have families, friends and want the best, not just for themselves but for everyone: a healthy planet. When you are an activist participating in a peaceful protest, it’s because you have a dream and believe that we must defend the planet. Is punishing the painting of a cooling tower with jail fair and proportionate? Defending the environment should not carry a cost that is higher than for destroying it.
In a time when peaceful protest is being questioned, Greenpeace points to Article 45 of Spain’s constitution that establishes the right of everyone to “enjoy an environment suitable for the development of the individual as well as the duty to preserve it “. That is what Greenpeace does and it is a right our people exercised on February 15, 2011.
So today we launch a campaign:
COFRENTES MISSION: ARTICLE 45. Defending the environment is a MUST. Protesting is our RIGHT.
Because when you have exhausted all other avenues, all you have left is peaceful protest.
We know that inside you, there is an activist who struggles for a better world. We believe in the little things that make great people and help defend the planet. From India to Africa, we must continue to protest against social and environmental injustice. Defending the environment is a duty and our right.
There is only one planet and we have to cherish it. There is simply nowhere else to go. Think of the men and women who put themselves between the harpoon and the whale. The people who reported the drums of nuclear waste being thrown into the sea. And countless others who defend the environment and our lives. If it wasn’t for all those people who have made the planet a better place, where would we be?
Three years ago we expected this trial to be held on 4 December, 2014. Today we begin a campaign that will last 17 days. During these days we will be proposing 17 missions to make bring attention to the injustice the Cofrentes 17 are facing. Please follow us on Twitter and tweet the hashtag #Misión45.
What can you do?
– MISSION 1: Tweet this blog post, share it on Facebook, email it to your friends. Let’s stand with the 17 people facing prison for defending the environment.
Celia Ojeda is an oceans and fisheries campaigner for Greenpeace Spain.
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