Pyhäjoki, Finland: Call for international solidarity with the Hanhikivi hunger-strikers

Update 23.9.15 at 23:30pm: The person in a tree-house has been taken down by the cops on 23.9.2015. The operation required cutting trees, building a new road, a special unit of cops and fire department, 3 big vehicles, guards, and many hours. Finally the mop of pine martens caught the squirrel. Our comrade was taken into hospital to get liquid, but was already released this night. We are happy that the person is quite ok. All the hunger strikes ended this evening.

The anti-nuclear struggle continues in Pyhäjoki, Finland. The Hanhikivi anti-nuclear camp was almost evicted last week, 15th September, but the cops left one person in a tree-house. Some people started a new camp just next to the construction site, in a cottage which had been a second base of the camp until now. Isolating the person in a tree led to the hunger strike of 5 people.

The nuclear power company Fennovoima doesn’t allow activists to bring vital supplies to the person in the tree. He has been without food since Saturday 19th September. In this situation he started a hunger strike demanding to get food, more warm clothes and other needed supplies on Monday 21st. Four more people started a solidarity hunger strike with the same demands. Three of the support strikers are camping next to the Fennovoima office in Pyhäjoki centre and one in Helsinki.

The order to deny all entry to the area was made by the Fennovoima’s construction manager Jouni Sipiläinen and the Oulu police as his loyal friend, despite the fact that there doesn’t actually exist a legal restriction of trespassing in the area yet.

We, supporters of the hunger-strikers, are really concerned especially about the condition of the person protesting in the tree-house. The person has stayed there one week. The weather is cold, rainy and windy, the situation in the area is very stressful because of large amounts of private security guards, who don’t let supporters inside the area. The situation for the protester is hard.

We strongly ask you for solidarity actions and sharing of information! For example your local Finnish and Russian Embassy would be a good place to do protests and actions. The Fennovoima company is partly owned by the Finnish state. Fennovoima has plant supplier contracts with Rusatom Overseas, which is a subsidiary of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.


puumaja-treehouseOn Tuesday 15th September, at midday, 16 police patrols, border control with a helicopter and g4s security attacked the camp. At this moment there where just a few people in the camp who climbed up to two tripods and two tree huts. Soon after a bulldozer and an excavator demolished the entrance of the camp. The first tripod was taken down by pulling the legs while there was a person sitting on it, with the bigger one the cops first cut it’s legs using chainsaw. One tree-house was unreachable for the cops, and at the moment, one week later, there is still a person up a tree.

The camp started on the 21st April, so it was 5 months old yesterday. Originally Fennovoima demanded that the area should be empty at the end of May, as it wanted to start massive operations in the beginning of June, but the eviction happened only 3 and a half months later. The camp managed to delay and mess up the plans of the construction site for the whole summer. In July the cops announced that around 100 “crimes” (including blockades and all kinds of minor disruptions of the work, specifically against the fence under construction) occured during the protest.

In the last two weeks of the camp people had to row a boat to get in the camp, as the fence was finally ready and the gate was closed. It’s evident that the company have their reasons to do everything to get rid of the protesters, even if it still hasn’t got the legal means to do so.

All the cottages are still not owned by the company, even if last week,  after the eviction, Fennovoima finally managed to buy the land it needs. According to the Finnish Nuclear Act they actually should of had all the land under their control 6 years ago, when they made the application to the government. But, big companies do what they want; this really doesn’t surprise anyone.

There are still multiple problems related to the project, including the fact that there are several shareholders who are trying to get rid of their shares. Next summer Fennovoima must have a reliable report of long term nuclear waste disposal, which will require a lot of imagination. The support of nuclear power and Fennovoima are decreasing all the time. We have no clue what kind of political and economical turbulences we might face in the Finnish or Russian near future, so this story is not at it’s end yet.

You are still welcome to join the struggle, in one way or another!

Email: hyokyaalto [at] riseup [dot] net
Camp phone: +358 465 98 1080