Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Citizens’ Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
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To Serve & Protect the Planet

Stu Vickars

Serve and protect Ė isnít that what the duty of the police is supposed to be, serving the people and protecting them from criminals? As a hippie, i believe it is my duty to serve Mother Earth and protect her from the savage beast known as humans. Iím submitting this message to the inquiry about uranium mining in order to add to the chorus of opposition to the nuclear industry. However, i have no illusion that the McGuinty government will listen to us and declare a moratorium on uranium mining or put a stop to plans for more nuclear power plants. Perhaps we can stall them long enough for a new government to be elected or maybe the whole system will come crashing down.

Iím writing from one of the high points of the Ottawa watershed which would be polluted if uranium mines were opened at Sharbot Lake and just over the hill is another watershed which has already been irradiated by the mines near Bancroft over 30 years ago. This is also the location of an anarchist commune that started around the same time by me and some friends and is still going. The protests against the Darlington nuclear power plant had been going on with thousands of people storming the fences there and we hosted a meeting of the activist coalition around the issue called the Non-Nuclear Network. Many back-to-the-land people, the rural hippies around Bancroft organized and took part in local protests against the nuclear industry, once around a postal stamp featuring atomic energy issued by the government and another time against plans to truck radioactive soil from Scarboro to the town.

We are counter-culture, our heritage skips generations to another time when we lived in tune with the cycles of nature, giving to and receiving from the environment as part of an organic whole. We grew up in the shadow of the bomb, the culture of our parents was one that produced a horrific weapon that vaporized thousands of people in a flash of light. That weapon also left a legacy of radiation that will negatively affect generations of people in Japan and Port Hope. Radiation causes cancer, a fact known by everyone but heeded by no-one in power. So why is uranium being taken out of the ground?

Power Ė thatís the operative word in this whole discourse. The focus on electrical power masks all the other dimensions of power. Thereís imperialist power Ė WE (white Europeons) won so they can do whatever they want to the land of the conquered peoples. Thereís patriarchal power Ė men are stronger with big weapons so they can order anyone else to do what they want. And most disgusting of all - the power of human arrogance, because we are the top of the food chain we can use the whole planet to fulfill our trivial desires.

The whole technology that gives us atomic bombs and nuclear energy is anti-natural. There is no natural process that will separate out radioactive isotopes and re-combine them to create energy. Everything else we had done up until the 1930ís was analogous to something in the natural world but not atomic power. We have become like gods but minus the wisdom. The path to nuclear power is 180í away from the direction we should be going in.