Sat, Aug 11, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Coffee shop owner plans anti-nuclear protest day

‘NO MORE FUKUSHIMA’:The man is using Facebook to organize other small business owners to fly an anti-nuclear flag at their shops on Double Ten National Day

By Tang Chia-ling and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A coffee shop owner has recently launched an event through Facebook for stores nationwide to hang up a 90cm by 120cm flag reading: “NO NUKES, No More Fukushima” on Double Ten National Day.

Saying he is not a radical social activist, the coffee shop owner, who declined to be named, said: “One has to keep in mind that should something happen to a nuclear power plant, everything that we hold dear and have worked hard for would disappear.”

In the wake of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan and the discovery of broken anchor bolts in the reactor container of the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli (萬里), New Taipei City (新北市), the coffee shop owner said he started to think about what actions he could take.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster — caused by an earthquake and the tsunami generated by the earthquake on March 11 last year — was the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The tsunami flooded the emergency electricity generators, which cut power to the pumps that circulated the coolant water for the reactor and caused full meltdowns of three out of the six reactors.

At the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant, meanwhile, it was discovered in March that seven out of 120 anchor bolts fixing the reactor’s side-skirt to the concrete base were either broken or had cracks, causing concerns over its safety.

The coffee shop owner said he finally thought of an idea: to create an anti-nuclear flag that is 90cm by 120cm in size, on which the words “NO NUKES, No More Fukushima” would be written, and then approach other shop owners via Facebook to invite them to join him in displaying the flag in their stores on Double Ten National Day.

At first, he only contacted owners of other independent coffee shops, he said, adding that he did not expect to see more than 100 stores participate in the event.

“The event doesn’t have a budget or any sponsor, it’s just a thought of mine hoping to flex some civilian muscle and put a spotlight on anti-nuclear events,” the owner said.

Meanwhile, Green Citizen Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said that shop owners who have signed up for the event were not politicians and were not affiliated with political parties.

“They are just people trying to protect what they have worked so hard to make and they are just normal people who want to have a life on this island,” Tsuei said, calling for more people to participate in the anti-nuclear event.

The owner who initiated the event estimates that each store who joins the event would have to pay NT$150 for the manufacture and delivery of the flag and said the alliance would be taking orders for the flags up until the end of the month.

The plan is to finish producing the flags by Sept. 15 and begin delivering them to stores, the owner said, adding that there would also be locations across the nation where store owners could pick up the flags.

Any leftover funds at the conclusion of the event would be donated to the alliance, the owner added.

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