Academics, activists and students gathered at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening to express solidarity with residents of Kudankulam, who have been resisting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.
Organised by the New Socialist Alternative, the demonstration saw participation from various anti-nuclear activist groups and organisations that have been campaigning for the rights of the Tamil-speaking population in Sri Lanka.
Protesters spoke about the repression of people in Kudankulam, and on the perils of nuclear energy and plants in the wake of the massive nuclear meltdown of reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.
“With such nuclear plants, there is always a possibility of great accidents. We need to look at other possible alternatives such as solar energy,” said Atul Chokshi, professor from the Indian Institute of Science. Prof. Chokshi emphasised that the consent of residents should be taken before any such development plans.
Ambrose Pinto, principal of St. Josephs’ College of Arts and Sciences, said the government’s role in and response to the Kudankulam issue has been “entirely disappointing”.
“This is a very strong example of being anti-democratic. There are so many people living close to the plant. The radiation will affect them,” he said.
The protesters singled out the former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, and condemned his call for support for the nuclear project. They demanded that all existing and future nuclear projects be suspended.