Activism should be fun, pro- or anti-whatever, since the rewards of activism are often frustration, lost friends, and learning what it is to be called fanatic. So a bow to the unbending squirrel:
A French anti-nuclear activist nicknamed the "unbending squirrel" managed to stop a train carrying uranium from a German processing plant in spectacular fashion, police said on Tuesday.
Cecile Lecomte, 27, rappelled down a motorway bridge near the western city of Münster late on Monday night to hang suspended over a rail line, forcing the 25-car train carrying the enriched nuclear fuel to stop.
That’s probably all kinds of illegal, but as long Ms. Lecomte didn’t hurt anyone – the story doesn’t indicate it - cooling her heels for a few days in a Munster pokey will do no harm. The story doesn’t indicate if she associates with a group, but this story does:
26-year-old French climbing and Robin Wood activist, Cécile Lecomte … [was] arrested in Lueneburg on Thursday where she had balanced from a railway overpass together with other Robin Wood activists.
This happened in November of last year. Note that this is translated from the German – we’re dubious about some of the things said in the translation (based on our very rusty German), so if you go over there, apply caution or read the original German.
And what about Robin Wood?
For over a month [early last year], activists from Robin Wood had been living in a 200-year-old tree to protest a controversial bridge under construction in Dresden. The project might destroy a UNESCO-protected site, but the tree protest ended on Tuesday. The tree has now been cut down.
Here’s Robin Wood’s site. Once again deploying our unreliable German, the name is indeed a pun (as only the Germans can do it) on Robin Hood. Living in a tree seems more their style than stopping trains, but they do like rappelling around.
As long as they do stuff like this – and take care not to put anyone, including themselves, into harm’s way – have at it. The train got where it was going, the tree came down, some consciousness’ got raised, a fair few considered them fools. It’s the old activist game.
Germany of course has been struggling with its nuclear ban. By 2020, the country will turn off its nuclear plants and lose 25% of its generating capacity. And without viable carbon emission free replacement energy at the ready, this represents a bit of a problem.
But current Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives say that going back to nuclear, as fellow EU member Italy is doing, would reduce Germany's dependency on oil and gas imports from Russia and the Middle East.
We suspect they really can’t do that.
The Greens are part of an unusual left-right coalition right now, so no nuclear, but let’s see what comes out of Copenhagen. Unser Freund Deutsch might be feeling a bit like hanging off a bridge itself.
A politzei de-dangling the unbending squirrel.