Thousands of anti-nuclear waste protesters have severely delayed a train transporting nuclear waste from the French reprocessing plant La Hague to the repository at Gorleben, Germany. A variety of actions, from sit-ins on the tracks, to tractor blockades by local farmers, to direct confrontations by black bloc 'Autonome' succeeded in stopping the train for one day and raising the costs of the transport to unprecedented levels. The train finally reached its Gorleben destination on Thursday morning.
The Castor train had arrived in the Wendland region on Wednesday with only a few hours delay, but then the plans to proceed the remaining 50 kilometres went into total disarray. Thousands of people had blocked the tracks and could only be moved by police using extreme force. At Sueschendorf, five Robin Wood activists had chained and cemented themselves inbetween the railtrack, forcing the train to stop and even retreat for the first time in the history of Castor transports. It took police 20 hours to remove the activists.
Earlier on Tuesday, the train had to wait for several hours in Lueneburg until police had removed a 1600 strong x-1000 blockade - later a train carrying the arrested activists was blocked by more protesters. Blockades near Goettingen had already forced the Castor train to change route. On Tuesday morning, Greenpeace activists abseiled with chains connected to the track from Seerau bridge and succeeded in holding their position for six hours. In the evening, 12,000 people had demonstrated in nearby Dannenberg. Read more in Tuesday's short summary.
As early as Sunday, protesters had blockaded and barricaded the railtrack, surrounded the storage site and demonstrated in Dannenberg. See as well the video of the opening demonstration in Lueneburg on Saturday.
With a deployment of 20,000 police in the small region around Gorleben alone, the transport was secured by the biggest police operation post-war Germany has ever seen. Despite their impressive presence in the region, police could only complete the transport by using extreme force. This included baton-charging peaceful sitting-blockaders on a regular basis and violent raids on resistance infrastructure. Read more on police strategies here. On Tuesday alone, there were 1410 arrests.
[ Indymedia Germany | Pictures at randbild.de | wendland-net | Photo ]