Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group joined campaigners from across Greater Manchester on Monday evening (25 April 2011) to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl which resulted from the meltdown of the nuclear reactor there on 26 April 1986. Alongside the Chernobyl Children's Project, Greater Manchester and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Nuclear Free Local Authorities Association and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Rochdale campaigners attended a concert in St Ann's Church, Manchester commemorating the deaths at Chernobyl and highlighting the ongoing consequences for those affected by the disaster. At 9 pm they joined the vigil in St Ann's Square where people holding candles spelt out a giant '25'.
On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said,
“It is 25 years since the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station had a such devastating effect on the country of Belarus and many other places in the world. Chernobyl continues to cast a shadow over the lives of thousands of people. It continues to impact on their physical and mental health, but, despite this, many governments, including our own, have not yet learned the lesson that nuclear power stations will always be a risk too far. We have to hope that the, still unresolved, crisis at the nuclear power station in Fukushima, Japan will remind our politicians of the threats posed by nuclear power generation and, finally, persuade them to decommission plants at places like Heysham and Sellafield and to cancel all plans for building new nuclear power stations. We need no more Chernobyls. We need no more Fukushimas. We need to be rid of the dangers posed to us by Heysham and Sellafield. We need no new nukes.”