Greenpeace clarifies incident with Areva boat in Lorient, France.
Auckland 20 May, 2002: Last Saturday in Lorient, France, an incident occurred with a Greenpeace inflatable and the official French entry into the America's Cup "Defi Areva".
Greenpeace kayaks and three inflatables were in the water to peacefully protest the sponsorship by Areva of the Defi Areva.
During the protest a Greenpeace inflatable and an Areva inflatable came into contact. The Areva inflatable pushed the Greenpeace inflatable against the hull of the boat.
There is no hole in the Areva boat, but it is unclear at this stage of what damage might have occurred.
A number of Greenpeace activists were arrested but were released soon after with no charges.
Greenpeace is committed to peaceful non-violent direct action in its effort to protect the environment. There was no intention or plan to ram the Areva boat, as Areva is claiming.
Greenpeace has nothing against the boat nor the team but is opposed to the Areva sponsorship because Areva includes: the plutonium reprocessing company COGEMA, the nuclear reactor construction company Framatome, and FCI, a maker of electrical connectors. Areva is 78.96 owned by the Commissariat a L'Énergie Atomique (CEA - the French Atomic Energy Commission) and 5.19 percent owned by the French Government.
Areva is not just a civil nuclear power company as some media have reported.
Greenpeace will continue to organise non-violent direct activities highlighting that Areva is a plutonium reprocessing company trying to ‘greenwash’ itself through its sponsorship of a sailing race.
If Areva has
experts in to assess any damage Greenpeace will also
request its own expert in to make an assessment.
Areva is using this incident to divert attention away for its own environmentally damaging activities