[CMI Galiza] Sebastien's group says he was NOT chained to the rails

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Sábado, 13 de Novembro de 2004 - 07:23:16 PST

Sébastien's group says he was NOT chained to the rails

It appears that the 21-year-old student killed by a nuclear waste train on Sunday 7 November in France was NOT chained to the track, as reported hitherto. This emerges from a statement purported to be from the group who took part in the action with Sébastien Briat. Here is their statement: 

"Sébastien died on 7 November 2004 when the locomotive of the atomic waste train to Gorleben struck him. A few weeks previously he had decided with some of us to take action to make the vulnerability of these transports public knowledge. The fact that he is dead should not let anyone forget that this action was non-violent, thought-through and voluntary. 
Even though this drama makes it appear that way, our action was not in the least irresponsible, or an act of desperation. Our commitment results from the deepest conviction about real and existing dangers that atomic power has represented for far too long. This action was prepared jointly and most meticulously: exact knowledge of the locality and taking into account an emergency stop. 
We had considered several times that the train might not be able to stop. Since we were in a long-drawn curve with limited visibility it was clear to us that we might have to leave the rails very fast. Four of us were lying next to the rails because we had placed two pipes under the rails. No one was lying between the rails so as to be able to get away fast in an emergency. We were not chained on and so had the possibility to quickly pull our arms out of the pipe. 
Unfortunately, the group that was to get the train to brake 1,500 metres in front of us was unable to act. The helicopter that always flies ahead of the train was missing. It was "refuelling" but the group was expecting it to signal the arrival of the train. Because next to the train vehicles of the Gendarmerie were driving at high speed, the "stopping group" could not act. Which meant that the transport could not be warned by either the helicopter or our stoppers so that it approached us at 100km/h. This catenation of circumstances brought us into danger. Thus the persons lying by the rails had very little time to notice that the train was not reducing speed. We had practised getting away in seconds. 
Sébastien was struck as he was leaving the rails. His arm was not stuck in the pipe, as the investigations due to be carried out will prove. Everything happened so fast that we could not help him. 
We had hidden in the cold for 10 hours about 30 metres from the rails on the edge of the forest. During that time neither we nor our advance information posts (15 kilometres from the location of the action), nor the group that was to stop the train, were discovered by security forces. Nor were we discovered when at five in the morning we laid the pipes under the rails. Clearly, the responsibility of every participant has to be ascertained, including ours. Right now we are going through the worst moments of our lives. 
As well as many known reasons for the action, we were primarily concerned with protecting our planet, being destroyed more and more year by year. But we were also concerned about the rejection of all questioning of this monolithic state. We did not try to stop the train out of immaturity or lust for adventure, but because only in this way the atomic policy of this country can become an elementary issue. Sébastien died in an accident, it was not his choice, nobody wanted it. He did not die after a visit to a disco, drunk at the wheel, but to make his conviction heard. 
And so his death will never be some random event for us. In the situation where we were so alone and so lost we would never have imagined receiving so much support. We thank most of all our friends and parents, many initiatives, but also thousands of anonymous Germans and French people who organised demonstrations and devotionals in his memory. The strength of the solidarity overwhelms and touches us. Most important to us is to cry over a brother and to support his family, not to instrumentalise his picture. "Bichon" was full of the joy of living and energy, not just an anti-nuclear activists. This text is neither a confession nor an accusation, we only want it to report the truth of these events. 
His female and male companions." 

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