Blog post from Paula Collet, Brazil Director:
São Paulo, March 24th of 2011 – Several civil society organizations gathered together last night in seven Brazilian cities for a silent, peaceful vigil with candles and flowers in solidarity with Japan, and for a clean energy (and non-nuclear!) future.
In Sao Paulo, over 100 people gathered in the traditionally Japanese neighborhood of the country's largest city.  The vigil was organized by Matilha Cultural, EcoGreens and, groups that came together and started planning after feeling motivated by seeing the suffering of Japan's people due to the recent earthquake and the ongoing nuclear disaster there. “This is a question that Brazil's society will have to answer now also, as our government pushes forward in investing billions of reals [Brazilian currency] of public money for the construction of a new nuclear energy plant called Angra 3 and others”, said Rebeca Lerer, antinuclear activist and Matilha Cultural’s director.
The popular manifestation had also the support of several Brazilians organizations such as Greenpeace, SOS Mata Atlântica, IDEC, Vitae Civilis.  “We started the mobilization with 3 cities and the movement spread really fast until we had vigils going on simultaneously in seven capitals with the support of several organizations” said André Amaral, anti- nuclear activist and EcoGreens director. “The message is simple: we can’t stand still! This is the moment to put pressure on the Brazilian government to follow Germany, China and other countries who are taking this moment to learn and stop the construction of nuclear plants”.
Brazil is facing an important choice also. The Brazilian Nuclear Program that was created during the military dictatorship is expensive and unsafe.  In 2007, Lula’s government decided to reinitiate the approval process of the Angra 3 plant, which happened without transparency, public consultation, approval in the National Congress, and was in disagreement with the Federal Constitution.  
We don't need to take the path towards nuclear energy – we are a country with incredible renewable energy potential, enough to generate twice the electricity used nowadays with wind energy alone. Investing in expensive and unsafe nuclear energy is a waste of time for us at a moment when we need energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.  We urgently want the approval of the Renewable Energy Program Law, which has been stalled in the National Congress since 2009, that will create the right economic conditions for a renewable energy future that will be safe and provide jobs here in Brazil.
For more photos and coverage of the events, please click here.

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