The average person is having breakfast, with the sound of the radio in the background, broadcasting: » the Belgian population will receive iodine tablets within a radius of 100 km « . Whereas previously this distance was 20 km, given the size of Belgium this new measure will concern the entire population of the country. Totally arbitrary choice, it could have been 200, 500, 3000…
However, you heard me right: the risk is assumed, the choice made. It is therefore more interesting for the men of power, industrialists and plutocrats who direct the future — with us following, while our revolt would be enough to make them stop — to risk hundreds of thousands of deaths, cancers, foetal deformations, mental retardation, genetic mutations, nervous and psychic diseases, contamination of the air, the ground, the water… This is better than stopping the plants. Obviously, as in the case of Chernobyl, in the event of a disaster, those who are now deciding on the future will leave the country, or at least will protect themselves more quickly from the first effects of the accident.
This is what will happen, here or elsewhere. It’s inevitable. We will then learn to live in a contaminated area. The towns and villages near the impacted plant will empty, we will bury our children, we will disappear prematurely. We will no longer have the choice between refusal or acceptance. It will be done. We can only agree.
We will not be able to fight anymore, although now it is still possible. To remain silent today is therefore to prepare a daily assassination against ourselves and life. To remain silent is to acknowledge the choices that others make for us.
As in the case of Chernobyl, in the event of a disaster, those who decide on the future will leave the country, or at least will protect themselves more quickly from the first effects of the accident
« During the Second World War, the Nazis destroyed 619 villages in Belarus and exterminated their population. As a result of Chernobyl, the country lost 485. Seventy of them are buried forever. The war killed one in four Belarusians; today, one in five lives in a contaminated region. This concerns 2.1 million people, including seven hundred thousand children. Write-offs are the main source of the demographic deficit […]. The area totally forbidden to agriculture represents 264,000 hectares. Belarus is a forest country, but 26% of the forests and more than half of the grasslands located in the flood basins of the Pripyat, Dnieper and Soj rivers are in the radioactive contamination zone. » (pp. 7–8)
« My daughter was six years old. I tuck her in and she whispers in my ear, « Daddy, I want to live, I’m still little ». And I thought she didn’t understand… Can you imagine seven totally bald girls at the same time? There were seven of them in the room… No, that’s enough! I can’t go on […]. My wife couldn’t stand to see her in the hospital anymore. « IIt’s better that she dies than that she suffers like this! Or die so I don’t have to see it again ! » No ! I can’t go on! No ! We laid her down on the door… On the door that had once supported my father. She stayed there until the little coffin arrived… it was barely bigger than a doll’s box. I want to testify that my daughter died because of Chernobyl. And they want us to forget about it « . Nikolai Fomich Kalugin, a father. (pp. 45–46)
Svetlana Alexievitch, Pleading. Chernobyl, chronicle of the world after the apocalypse, Éditions J’ai lu, Paris, 1999.
We who so often have good excuses not to fight, when we will not even have the choice of fighting anymore, let us at least have the decency not to cry.