Home | Friday 21st November 2008 | Issue 656
RAIL AGAINST THE MACHINE
A train holding 23 tonnes of nuclear waste is subverted by a mass demo of 16,000 activists on its 940 mile journey from France to Germany. The demonstration is the largest of its kind for over six years, with an eclectic mix of affinity groups, autonomists, farmers, NGOs, clowns and anti-nuclear bravehearts.
The assorted groups descended on the railway line from the forests, in a co-ordinated ambush from the north and south. Many dug rocks under the tracks and layered wood on top of the railway, blocking the route from their vantage points. “I lost count of how many people were suspended from trees over roads and train tracks… for every person that got taken down, several more would appear in their place”, said one protester.
Some, with the luxury of a tractor, were able to strategically blockade the rail track; apparently 50 tractors were eventually confiscated. The crux of the delay came from three brave activists at the French-German border, D-locking themselves under the railway line using concrete blocks, holding up the train for 9 hours in Berg.
An extensive police operation ensued with an estimated 30,000 police officers deployed en-route – that is double the amount of protesters - armed with their accessories for assault: riot gear, batons, pepper-spray, dogs and water cannons to disperse and remove protesters.
A fleet of police helicopters escorted the train on the final stretch to Dannenberg, mystifying as all protesters were firmly afoot on the ground. The demo ended with a thousand protesters occupying the street outside the fortified nuclear dumpsite. In total, there were 46 arrests, 293 people held in custody and 2,478 banning orders issued.
Germany sends nuclear power to France where it is processed, the spent nuclear waste is returned to Germany, in this case to Dannenberg in the North where it is stored in an old salt-mine. Anti-nuclear campaigners have long been opposing the proliferation of nuclear power and the danger of its disposal. Another salt-mine dump near Wolfenbuettel has reportedly developed leaks and cracks.
Protesters call for an end of nuclear power plants and that all existing waste is stored without causing damage to people or the planet.
* For more http://de.indymedia.org/en