A lot of people want to stop 5G. And opposition to 5G is springing up so fast it’s hard to keep track. While the objections are many, it is above all the health risks of 5G that have people around the world acting to stop its implementation. In this post, we’ll look at where 5G is being opposed, by whom, and to what degree of success.
Unprecedented Opposition to Stop 5G
Let me start by saying that I’ve been studying EMF issues for almost a decade at this point; and I was aware of the issues for much longer than that, as my father, Dr. Martin Blank, was very active in the field of EMF health effects and regulation for three decades.
So I’ve been following this stuff for most of my life, and I’ve never seen opposition to the rollout of wireless technology like I’m seeing with 5G.
It’s happening all over the world.
What this shows is that the impact of 5G to human health is a genuine concern – for policymakers, for scientists and medical experts, and for citizens alike.
Why Is There So Much Momentum to Stop 5G?
If you read our post on 5G cell towers, you’ll come to understand that the fifth generation of mobile technology (aka, 5G) is more powerful and uses a higher frequency than previous generations. This means that 5G will operate with much more energy and expose us to far more electromagnetic radiation (EMF) in a much broader range than ever before.
5G also requires a far, far greater number of cell towers to provide adequate coverage, because its high-frequency waves don’t travel as far.
On top of that, providers are launching satellites into Earth’s low atmosphere to blanket the planet in 5G.
Now, as you can imagine, we’ve simply never seen EMF radiation exposures of this type and to this degree. Never. So we don’t know what the outcome will be. And these 5G networks are being rolled out without independent testing or investigation into the potential negative outcomes.
Now, we already know that the health effects of EMF are real. And that there’s a large and continually growing body of science linking cell phones to various health risks including fertility problems, DNA damage, and cancers.
So it makes sense that we would want to know how 5G – with its higher frequencies, greater power outputs and drastically increased levels of EMF radiation – is going to act to accelerate these health effects.
That’s why opposition to 5G networks has arisen so quickly and strongly around the world.
From citizens coming together to form local community groups to highly regarded scientists and doctors joining together in appeals, here’s what’s been happening so far. (Note that this list is being regularly updated with new information.)
Efforts to Stop 5G So Far
Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the opposition to 5G that has proved successful, to some degree, or is still ongoing.
Now, how do we define “success”? Halting the installation of 5G is only one potential outcome. A different measure of success might be postponing the rollout of the technology pending deeper independent research and testing into its potential health effects.
Even more immediately, some community lobby groups are counting success as every small step in the right direction. Successfully raising awareness of the effects of EMF radiation, getting 5G health risks on the agenda at council or department meetings, gaining support from council members and political representatives, or slowing the approval of permits for 5G towers can all be counted as small but significant wins.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives a rundown of how the movement against 5G technology has been growing globally so far.
Opposition to 5G in the US
Mill Valley, California, September 2018
After receiving 145 letters from citizens in opposition to 5G (and only five in support of it), the council of Mill Valley voted unanimously to block 5G deployment. The action was taken via an urgency ordinance — a type of order that can be invoked when the health and safety of a community is at risk. A few months later, the neighboring district of San Rafael also passed an urgency ordinance restricting the distance of 5G cell towers.
Gig Harbor, Washington, February 2019
Gig Harbor Mayor and City Council unanimously opposed the FCC’s requirement to allow the deployment of 5G. One month later Gig Harbor residents formed an ad hoc committee to inform the public about the dangers of 5G technology.
Portland, Oregon, March 2019
Portland city council raised 5G health concerns in a resolution that called for greater research by the FCC. In the resolution, Portland lawmakers pointed to evidence suggesting wireless networks can cause cancer and other health issues, and implore the FCC to demonstrate 5G’s safety.
Oakland, California, April 2018
After Verizon announced plans to install 16 new wireless antennas in the Oakland neighborhood of Oakmore, a group of concerned citizens, reportedly failing to get straight answers from the company, formed the Oakmore Neighborhood Advocacy Group (ONAG) in opposition to the rollout. The group made positive steps in having their opinions heard and raising attention to the issue – firstly by organizing an open house discussion with Verizon. “At the end of the meeting [the Verizon reps] writhed in their seats and had trouble answering questions,” said a group representative. They’ve also been active in keeping 5G safety issues on the agenda at Oakland Planning Commission meetings.
New Hampshire, June 2019
On June 6, 2019, New Hampshire launched a bill to establish a commission to study the environmental and health effects of evolving 5G technology.
Easton, Connecticut, May 2020
On May 7, 2020, a 5G cease and desist resolution was unanimously approved by Easton Connecticut. The town decided to halt its 5G rollout until research and testing prove the technology to be safe for humans and the environment. The resolution makes Easton the first town in Connecticut to ban 5G.
Farragut, Tennessee, May 2020
A similar resolution was passed by the Town of Farragut on May 14, 2020, halting the rollout of 5G and urging the Tennessee and United States governments to take action and reevaluate outdated safety standards. Residents were reportedly facing the installation of 4,000 to 5,000 towers in the area and, concerned about the health and safety of the community, petitioned the council board and Mayor to enact the resolution.
Keene, New Hampshire, May 2020
In 2019, New Hampshire became the first US state to launch a commission into the environmental and health effects of 5G. In May 2020, Keene city councilors voted to block applications from service providers of 5G, pending the release of the commission’s report. The Keene council’s block will stay in effect until January 2021, allowing time for the report to be reviewed before any further decision on 5G is made.
Hawaii, July 2020
Hawaii County Council voted 8-1 in approval of a resolution calling for “telecommunication companies and public utilities operating in Hawaii County” to halt 5G development until independent testing finds it is safe for human exposure. “Every minute of our lives, we’re exposed to dangerous things,” said Council Chairman Aaron Chung. “That doesn’t mean we have to expose ourselves to more of them.”
Nationwide protests, 2019 and 2020
A nationwide “5G Day of Action” was held on May 15, 2019, with coordinated events taking place across the country. Protests sprang up in cities and towns including San Diego, Asheville, Long Island, Woodstock, and more. The event called for wireless companies to suspend the deployment of small cell towers in residential areas.
The 2019 event was so successful, another similar event was held on January 25, 2020, organized by the group Stop 5G International. Dubbed “Global 5G Protest Day”, it had a much larger turnout, with approximately 260 protest events taking place in 37 countries around the world. More information about upcoming protest days can be found here.
Multiple US Congressmen and Senators have expressed concerns about the safety risks of 5G. One, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, held a hearing in February 2019 to voice these concerns. In the hearing, Sen. Blumenthal called the responses of regulators “pretty unsatisfactory” and concluded by saying, “So there really is no research ongoing. We’re kind of flying blind here, as far as health and safety is concerned.” But of course, this is Congress, so nothing happens quickly.
Opposition to 5G Around the World
Brussels, Belgium, March 2019
Brussels halted a 5G pilot program citing health concerns. Environment minister Céline Fremault told interviewers, “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”
Italy, March 2019
In March 2019, Florence City Council refused permission for 5G by invoking the precautionary principle. The principle holds that policymakers have a responsibility to protect the public from harm when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk.
Since then, a Stop 5G resolution has successfully been enacted by over 100 different municipalities across Italy, with opposition continuing to grow.
Finland, March 2019
A group of Finnish citizens created a petition to the government to completely ban 5G on the grounds of the technology being harmful to human health. The petition has raised over 7,500 signatures.
Netherlands, April 2019
In April 2019, the Dutch House of Representatives called for testing to assess the dangers of 5G. “We still don’t know about the dangers to public health,” said Parliament member Laura Bromet. “Little research has been done into the effects of 5G. We need to take people’s concerns seriously and investigate this.”
Switzerland, April 2019
Both Geneva and The Canton of Vaud have adopted moratoriums on 5G until further research is carried out on health and safety. The Swiss have also launched several proposals for legally binding referendums. One calls for telecoms companies to be made legally liable for claims of bodily damage caused by radiation, while another proposes strict limits on radiation emissions from masts and calls for local residents to have veto power over new tower constructions. These require the collection of 100,000 signatures in order to trigger the referendum process.
Additionally, the Swiss parliament has on two occasions already refused to reduce radiation exposure limits, citing concerns for human safety.
Germany, April 2019
A German petition imploring parliament to block 5G garnered over 54,000 signatures. The petition cites “scientifically justified doubts about the safety of this technology”. And Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) called for a thorough investigation into the health concerns associated with the new 5G technology. The investigation body used auction of 5G licenses to provide consumers with advice on how people can protect themselves from harmful mobile phone radiation.
Slovenia, January 2020
Slovenia’s Agency for Communication Networks and Services was heavily criticized for developing a 5G implementation strategy that did not give enough consideration to the potential health effects of the technology. According to Public Administration Minister Rudi Medved: “At the last moment there was so much criticism of the document, we removed it from the agenda to allow for further reflection.”
A petition launched in January 2020, directed to the EU parliament, calls for 5G technology to be halted. To date, it has collected signatures from over 13,000 EU citizens.
Canada, May 2020
On May 26, 2020, Robert McKinnon MP will present a petition to the Canadian federal government to remove cell towers from children’s schools across Canada. The petition states: “It has been proven […] that children are more vulnerable to the effects of exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation due to their thin skulls and developing brains.” It calls for the Government to restrict the installation of cell towers and antennas within 305m of all schools and playgrounds.
Netherlands, December 2020
In what’s considered by many to be a breakthrough case for the area, a judge in Gelderland, Netherlands, ruled that a transmission tower cannot simply be installed without objections about health risks first being considered. The court also ruled that “the health interests of local residents who are sensitive to radiation” must be weighed into any decision. The ruling came after a resident objected to a 40-meter antenna mast being constructed 650 meters from her home. The court’s ruling states: “It cannot be ruled out that there are increased health risks even at a field strength lower than 1 V / m,” and that the Health Council, whose advice is central to judgements like this one, “essentially confirms in its latest report that it is not yet clear which health effects occur with 5G.”
Global Appeals to Stop 5G
5G Space Appeal
One of the largest appeals to date is the 5G Space Appeal – an appeal to “stop 5g on Earth and in Space” which is directed to “the UN, WHO, EU, Council of Europe and governments of all nations”. The appeal urgently calls for a halt to the deployment of 5G, including from space satellites.
“5G will massively increase exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation on top of the 2G, 3G and 4G networks for telecommunications already in place. RF radiation has been proven harmful for humans and the environment. The deployment of 5G constitutes an experiment on humanity and the environment that is defined as a crime under international law.“– 5G Space Appeal
To date, the appeal has an impressive 271,668 signatories from 213 nations and territories.
Unsuccessful Opposition to 5G
A petition to the UK parliament calling for “an independent enquiry into the health and safety risks of 5G” reached 32,454 signatures, but was rejected by the government on March 19, 2019. The Government’s response stated: “Exposure to radio waves has been carefully researched and reviewed. The overall weight of evidence does not suggest devices producing exposures within current guidelines pose a risk to public health.”
Nonetheless, the response ends with the Government calling for people to exercise caution while using their devices. “The results of [the National Toxicology Program] study highlight the continuing uncertainties in this complex area and reinforce the importance of mobile phone users following the long-standing precautionary advice,” they noted.
Another similar petition, which has to date amassed more than 36,000 signatures, will be submitted to the UK government in October 2020.
How Can You Oppose 5G?
Perhaps you’re concerned about the negative health effects that may be brought about by unprecedented levels of EMF radiation from 5G. Or you would, at a minimum, prefer that new technologies like 5G were properly tested and regulated before being installed around neighborhoods, homes, and schools. So what can you do?
Don’t Destroy 5G Towers
Fear stirred up by conspiracy theories about 5G has lead to some people taking matters into their own hands in extreme and unhealthy ways.
Acts of arson and vandalism have been reported across the UK and Europe. 5G cell towers have been set alight. Telecomms workers have been harassed and abused while trying to do their jobs.
This kind of vigilante action is, need we say, unhelpful at best. At worst, it’s extremely damaging to the environment and, consequently, our health. And isn’t that exactly what we’re trying to avoid?
Here’s an explanation from Dr. Devra Davis in an article for the International Business Times:
Igniting this equipment creates a soup of corrosive cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals some of which can persist for decades. The generators at the base of towers are likewise made up of numerous metals and plastics that become especially dangerous when combusted.Dr. Devra Davis
So, as we can see, attempting to destroy 5G infrastructure is not only illegal, it’s extremely counterproductive.
What To Do Instead to Stop 5G
Firstly, you can stay informed about what 5G is and what it means for you – including if and when it will be rolled out in your area.
You can keep an eye on the list above, and take part in global campaigns, or search for citizens groups in your area that are helping to get 5G safety on the agenda (you can even, should you wish, start your own).
On a more individual level, you can get to know about 5G safety and protection. There are, in fact, many things you can do to protect yourself and your family from EMF radiation and, as I always say, the best EMF protection is free. Even with the addition of 5G networks to the ever-growing list of EMFs in our environment, limiting your exposure overall is still one of the best measures you can take.