Beyond Nuclear was once again a co-sponsor of the Nuclear-Free Future Awards, this time held in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 16-20. It was perhaps the most eclectic and international of all Award gatherings in recent years and “official” events such as the Awards, the Think Nuclear-Free Symposium, and a downtown anti-nuclear rally, included, and were interspersed with much joyful singing, dancing and embracing.
The 2016 winners were: Arif Ali Cangi (Turkey), Resistance; Bruno Chareyron (France), Education; Samson Tsegaye Lemma (Ethiopia) Solutions; and Susi Snyder (Netherlands/USA) and Alfred Sepepe (South Africa) for Special Recognition. Click on each winner’s name for more information on their work and the award.
Some prevailing themes from the Symposium.
- There are lies told from the beginning to the end of the uranium fuel chain story, by governments and industry. These lies and the corruption must be constantly exposed. There is a huge need for accountability and transparency.
- It is essential to get accurate, scientific information directly to communities.The information needs to be simple, properly and fully documented, and translated into relevant languages.
- It is important to train people to use radiation monitors so that communities can measure radiation levels themselves rather than be subjected to the lies of industry and government; understand what the levels mean; and know which protective steps they can and should take.
- In order to get information to rural or remote communities, a mobile information and training unit could be optimal, since many people cannot travel to a training event or conference.
- How we message is also important. Rather than talking about impact, talk about consequences and appeal to the heart. This means telling personal stories and having compelling messengers who have lived the nuclear experience whether nuclear weapons (such as Hibakusha) or nuclear power/uranium mining.
- How we look at the issue and frame it can make a difference in reaching people. The anti-nuclear weapons community is emphasizing that this is a humanitarian issue and a public health issue.