Anti-nuclear movements need to return to table, says FANG activist


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By Rachael Nath

Securing a nuclear-free region has been a long battle for the Pacific.

After the Second World War, the United States, along with its French and British allies, frequently tested nuclear weapons in the region.

In 1963 the British, American and Soviet governments agreed to ban atmospheric tests, but India, China and France were among those countries which did not.

The NFIP Teachers' Wānanga
The NFIP Teachers’ Wānanga at the Auckland Museum on 10-11 July 2023. Image: Marco de Jong

Nuclear testing in French Polynesia — Moruroa Atoll and Fangataufa became the focal point for both the tests and resistance towards this military activity.

It was also during this time that the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement (NFIP) and the Fiji Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG) came about — they played a significant role in influencing regional politics.

Rachael Nath talked to FANG’s advocate and then treasurer Nik Naidu and began by looking back to the 1970s.

Fiji Anti-Nuclear Group activists protest in Suva
Fiji Anti-Nuclear Group activists protest in Suva harbour against a visit by a US warship. Image: Rocky Maharaj/Nik Naidu

A Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Movement (NFIP) banner
A Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Movement (NFIP) banner in the heyday of nuclear-free activism. Image: NFIP FB

Rachael Nath is a RNZ Pacific journalist. This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

Cafe Pacific Publisher
Cafe Pacific Publisher
Café Pacific's duty editor.
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