TechnoWar: Swiss Families Protest Health Impacts of 5G

October 10th, 2019 - by Health Impact News & Domhnall O'Sullivan / SwissInfo

Swiss Citizens Take to the Streets to Protest 5G Implementation as New Illnesses Start at Same Time

Health Impact News

 (October 6, 2019) — If you want to get an idea of what will happen in the US when the telecom companies start rolling out 5G networks with new towers in your local neighborhood, take a look at what is happening in Switzerland today, where 90% of the population is now exposed to the new 5G networks.

People are getting sick, and they are marching in the streets to show their opposition to the new networks.

Yahoo News reports:

Thousands of people protested in the Swiss capital Bern Saturday (9/21/19) over the roll-out of a 5G wireless technology across the country, which they fear could damage people’s health. The protesters, many carrying placards, gathered in front of the Swiss parliament building, in a bid to stop the construction of more 5G-compatible antennae.

“The fact that so many people turned out today is a strong sign against the uncontrolled introduction of 5G,” said Tamlin Schibler Ulmann, co-president of Frequencia, the group that organised the rally.

[C]ritics in Switzerland argue that the electromagnetic radiation the new system emits poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology.

Online petitions have helped persuade several Swiss cantons — in Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchatel — to postpone the construction of antennae as a precaution. The Swiss Federation of Doctors (FMH) has also argued for a cautious approach to the new technology.

The first injuries due to 5G are now being reported in Switzerland, according to Physicians for Safe Technology.

The first reported injury of 5G in a news report comes from Switzerland, where 5G has been launched in 102 locations.  The weekly French-language Swiss magazine L’Illustré interviewed people living in Geneva after the 5G rollout with alarming details of illness.

In their article, With 5G, We Feel Like Guinea Pigsposted July 18, 2019, they report neighbors met to discuss their many common symptoms and many unanswered questions.

As soon as the antennas were installed, several residents and entire families in the heart of Geneva reported similar unusual symptoms of loud ringing in the ear, intense headaches, unbearable earaches, insomnia, chest pain, fatigue and not feeling well in the house.

29-year-old Geneva resident, Johan Perruchoud, called up Swisscom and was told that indeed the 5G cell towers were activated on the same day he began to feel the symptoms. When others called Swisscom they were told everything is legal and within guidelines.

Dr. Bertrand Buchs, who has also called for a 5G moratorium, states he has seen more and more patients with similar symptoms.

He notes, “In this case, our authorities are going against common sense … we risk experiencing a catastrophe in a few years… no serious study exists yet, which is not surprising when we know that this technology was developed in China, then to the United States. In Switzerland, we could open a line for people who feel bad, listen to these complaints and examine them. Our country has the means and the skills. The debate must be launched because the story is not about to end.”

Are Telecom Giants Influencing US Government to Override 5G Opposition?

As Health Impact News reported back in June this year (2019), local opposition to the installation of 5G networks has been strong here in the US as well, as more than two dozen municipalities, counties, and organizations are suing the FCC and the US Government for forcing them to submit to every desire of telecom companies as they rollout 5-G. Opposition has been strong in the U.K. as well, where one man was sentenced to jail for speaking out.


Judge Orders British Man Opposing 5G Released from Jail — Attempts to Silence Him Failed

Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policy that benefits their industry.

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so farwith a total spend of more than $80 million. Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

•  2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million.

•  Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.

•  Since 2011, yearly spending on lobbying across all ISPs hasn’t strayed below $72 million.

•  The largest amount spent by any provider in any year was AT&T in 1999, at almost $23 million. AT&T’s acquisition of Ameritech Corp accounted for much of this, and the merger eventually led to the creation of America’s largest telecom company.

•  Total spend from 2016 to 2019 is set to exceed lobbying expenses between 2012 and 2015, which totaled $295 million.

•  Lobbying in favor of mergers and acquisitions accounted for many of the biggest expenses for individual ISPs in a single year.

•  $1.2 billion has been spent by ISPs on lobbying since 1998.

Top 25 ISP Lobbying Spenders in 2018

ISP 2018 Lobbying Expenses
AT&T $15,820,000.00
Comcast $15,072,000.00
Verizon $10,489,000.00
Charter Communications $9,390,000.00
Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA — 2007) $8,105,000.00
Cox Enterprises $3,450,000.00
CenturyLink $3,360,000.00
Sprint Corporation $3,130,000.00
América Móvil $2,270,000.00
DISH Network $2,060,000.00
Ligado Networks $1,710,000.00
Viasat, Inc. $890,000.00
Frontier Communications $526,583.00
Granite Telecommunications $510,000.00
US Cellular $500,000.00
Altice USA $400,000.00
Puerto Rico Telephone Company $360,000.00
General Communication, Inc (GCI) $320,000.00
Iridium Communications $210,000.00
Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico $200,000.00
ATN International $180,000.00
C Spire $120,000.00
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc (TDS) $110,477.00
Mediacom Communications $90,000.00
Level 3 Communications (Now CenturyLink) $85,000.00

What is ISP lobbying?

Lobbying expenses include any money used to influence local, state, or federal legislators and regulators. According to the IRS, that includes expenses incurred to participate or intervene in any political campaign for or against a candidate for public office. Attempts to influence the public about elections, legislative matters, and referendums also count as lobbying.

Learn more about 5G technology and all of its hazards, which include more than just health hazards, but also privacy concerns and the possible use of 5G as a weapon to control dissenters.

Demonstrators at the anti-5G protest in Bern, Switzerland.

Domhnall O’Sullivan / SwissInfo

Swiss 5G Debate Heats up with Protest in Bern

(May 10, 2019) — Simmering opposition to the rollout of 5G technology in Switzerland climbed a notch on Friday as a 1,000-strong protest was held in the capital, Bern.

Organised by the Stop5G citizen group, the gathering on Bern’s Waisenhausplatz square — a couple of stone’s throws away from the federal parliament — was the first significant national expression of resistance to plans for a 5G Switzerland.

Scientists, doctors, engineers, environmentalists, left-wing politicians, and even a tech-sceptic musician took to the stage to highlight the key demand outlined by event organiser Tamlin Schibler Ulmann: “a national moratorium on 5G development”.

Widely-distributed flyers outlined their reasons: health concerns (they fear that diseases from cancer to depression to chronic fatigue may be caused by electromagnetic waves); the damage to sustainable development of the infrastructure and energy usage of 5G; and the security threat to our private lives that universal connectivity implies.

Government Report

Are the fears grounded? The Swiss government has downplayed the health worries, and is preparing a report to be released this summer to further reassure. But people are unconvinced, and not just the 1,000 that turned up in Bern on Friday: according to a recent survey by magazine L’Illustré, 54% of Swiss citizens believe that 5G could be damaging to their health.

Indeed, among the crowd, health fears featured highly. Charlotte, from La Tour de Peilz, said she believed 5G would increase the proportion of the population that is “electro-sensitiveexternal link”; Chili, from Bern, said that reading about the possible side-effects convinced her that “we have to act immediately”.

Others complained about the environmental impact of 5G infrastructure, and the pollution and radiation caused by the waves; Ian, from England, said he was worried about ever more satellites being launched into space and the resulting damage to the ozone layer.

Dissenting voices were rare, though Felix — an “industry insider” who was standing slightly to the side of the main event — dismissed the fears, saying that the technology and its impact is the same as that of 3G and 4G before it. Nevertheless, he said, explaining why he’d come, “it’s good to have a deeper conversation about all of this”.

A conversation is what has now started in Switzerland. Regardless of whether 5G waves are proven to cause actual headaches, they are becoming a real political pain for the government and the three telecoms groups — Swisscom, Sunrise, and Salt — who paid CHF380 million ($375 million) to develop the technology.

Though plans for 5G have been building for some time, things escalated last month, when — even after deals were inked and masts were being prepared — four cantons in southwestern Switzerland called a halt on development, citing possible health concerns.

Since then, the situation has become muddier: while the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has insisted that such decisions are an exclusively federal competence, the rebel cantons have not yet backed down. Earlier today, Sunrise waded into the fray, pledging to take legal action if it is not allowed develop the technology it paid for.

Chinese Connection

In the meantime, an added layer of complexity has been provided by the news that the US, who is pressuring its allies not to use 5G hardware developed by Chinese firm Huawei, also had a word with Bern in April. (Sunrise is working with Huawei to build its infrastructure.)

So what’s next? The Stop5G group will continue to build awareness for their cause; they also have plans to collect signatures for a people’s initiative if the moratorium is not introduced. Another online petition, addressed to communications minister Simonetta Sommaruga, has already secured almost 23,000 names.

That said, as Ulmann noted in the Tribune de Genèvenewspaper this week, the direct democracy system — though allowing for such citizen action — does not move fast in Switzerland. Even with signatures handed in, it could take years before the issue ever came to a vote — by which point 5G would be a firmly entrenched fixture of Swiss landscape.

And even then: if the vote was accepted, would the government reverse the tide of history and force the masts to beam (merely) 4G rather than 5G signals? Would industries using 5G technology to design and develop products be forced to suddenly stop doing so?

With input from Marc André Miserez & Keystone-SDA 

Can You Hear Me Now? Telecommunications: 5G Is Coming to Switzerland. Celia Luterbacher, SwissInfo (March 18, 2018)

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.