International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons

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Belgian Action Day 2010 - Brussels November 15th

Join our Action Day to Ban Depleted Uranium weapons made in France
25 October 2010 - Belgian Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons

Belgian Action Day poster

On the 15th of November 2010 the Belgian Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons – a cooperation of 25 Belgian NGOs – will organise a peaceful demonstration against French policy on depleted uranium weapons. This action is part of an International Day of Action, with events taking place in cities across the globe. The aim of this international action day is to highlight the long lasting dangers of the use of armour and ammunitions that contain depleted uranium.

Activists will gather at 9:00 AM in the Brussels' Central train station (in front of the ticket office).

A non-violent action starts at 9:30 AM near the rear side of the French Embassy building, between the trees along the Avenue du Régent (Regentlaan), just nearby the corner of Avenue des Arts (Kunstlaan) and Rue Joseph II (Jozef II straat).

At 11:00 AM, a delegation of the Belgian Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons – together with Eva Brems (Prof. Dr. Human Rights and member of the Belgian parliament for the Flemish green party Groen!) and other parliamentarians - is invited for a meeting in the French Embassy in Brussels.

The aim of the action is to point out to the French government its responsibilities when uranium weapons are produced, tested and maintained in its arsenal of armaments. The activists demand that France complies with the repeated calls of the European Parliament toward NATO and the European Union member states to take action towards a global ban of depleted uranium weapons. These weapons are indiscriminate and deadly at impact and the remnants (dust particles and fragments) are potentially a health hazard. Their use demands a more transparent attitude concerning their production, test-firing, trade and use.

Poster
We hope you also will invite your friends to join our action. You can make our voice louder through the dispatch of our poster you can find attached below. The poster is available in a high resolution (2.1 MB jpeg file) at the end of this article.

Background information
This year our action day in Belgium puts the spotlights on the military use of uranium weapons in France. In western Europe, France is the only current producer of armour piercing ammunition containing depleted uranium. Officially, until today France has never deployed depleted uranium weapons in armed conflicts. It is unknown if uranium weapons made in France were used during armed conflicts by countries that might have bought French uranium weapons.

In the past, test firings in Bourges (Cher) and Gramat (Lot) have contaminated metallic wastes, earth, rubble and debris with depleted uranium. Local citizens fear that the test firings of uranium weapons still go on.

A draft resolution text introduced by Indonesia on 13 October 2010 to the UN General Assembly demands more transparency of users of depleted uranium weapons such as France.

Depleted uranium is a radioactive and chemically toxic waste product from the nuclear industry. It is used in armour piercing ammunition and in the reinforcement of armour plates on battle tanks. The main health risk of depleted uranium occurs when a depleted uranium round pierces through the armour of a battle tank, generating an aerosol consisting of tiny depleted uranium oxide particles that contaminate the environment and may affect the health of local residents for countless years to come. Depleted uranium has a radioactive half-life of 4,5 billion years.

Notes:

For more information:
Belgian Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons – www.motherearth.org/du
International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons – www.bandepleteduranium.org

Contact:
Willem Van den Panhuysen – willem@motherearth.org
GSM: +32 473 71 75 18 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +32 473 71 75 18      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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