Hands-on action needed more than ever to stop nuclear power in GermanyIMC linksunten 01 Nov 2010 10:05 GMT (translated by IMC linksunten)
The biggest ever protests are expected in the Wendland, as the area around Gorleben is called, in its more than 30 years of resistance to nuclear waste dumping and nuclear power production in general. Local organisers are predicting up to 30,000 protesters from all over Germany.
A train carrying 11 caskets for the transportation and storage of nuclear waste, CASTOR for short, will be bringing back from France spent fuel originally used in German power stations. It has been processed in the plutonium factory in La Hague, near Cherbourg on the English Channel coast. An expert in the Gorleben resistance has calculated that each Castor casket holds nine to ten times as much radioactivity as was released by the Hiroshima atom bomb. Castor shipments from La Hague to a hall in Gorleben serving as an “interim storage” began in the mid-90s. There are 91 Castors in it already.
The previous Castor train in 2008 was held up by activists for 12 hours at Berg, a town on the Franco-German border, where the train enters Germany [Video]. Tens of thousands also demonstrated and blockaded in the Wendland [Video].
In early September the German government announced extensions of the operating licenses for atomic power stations by an average of 12 years. In subsequent weeks hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against nuclear power – 100,000 in Berlin, 50,000 in Munich and about 16,000 at 120 locations along railway routes used for Castor transportation.
The state prosecutor in Lüneburg, who has jurisdiction for Gorleben, has started investigations against the campaign to remove ballast stones from under the railway track from Lüneburg to Dannenberg, where the Castors will be loaded onto trucks. In cooperation with a state security agency it took down the internet site of Infogruppe Rosenheim (Info Group Rosenheim).
Two activists were arrested in Hanover for allegedly spreading stickers calling for the stone removal. On 30 October there was the first demonstration in the Wendland following passage of the operating extensions by parliament on 25 October. About 500 nuclear opponents rallied in Uelzen, near Gorleben.
The Castor train leaves the Valognes freight yards in Normandy on 5 November. Several protest actions have been announced for France. On Saturday 6 November the train is expected to cross the border at Berg. A rally and blockades are planned there.
In the Wendland, school pupils will demonstrate from 9:30 a.m. on Friday in Lüchow, the county administrative centre. On Saturday the main opening rally will begin at 1 p.m. in Dannenberg. Before the Castor train enters the county of Lüchow-Dannenberg, sit-down blockades are planned around Hitzacker. At the same time the Castor Schottern campaign calls for masses of people to remove stones from the railway track to prevent the train getting through.
Should the train make it to the reloading facility in Dannenberg, activists of the X-tausendmal quer group will block roads between Dannenberg and Gorleben. Here is a list of actions planned in the Wendland.