Gorleben anti-nuclear demonstrations begin

Diet Simon 02.11.2004 14:46 Themen: Atom
Demonstrations have begun against another consignment of nuclear waste to a storage hall storage hall in the Lower Saxony village of Gorleben, due next week.
In the state capital, Hanover, ROBIN WOOD activists symbolically unloaded atomic waste on the square outside parliament house – about two dozen barrels marked with yellow radioactivity emblems.

Several hundred people protested yesterday in the Uelzen and Hitzacker, towns near Gorleben, arguing that despite the declared policy of ending atomic power production, the German government is enabling the electricity corporations to keep their reactors going for at least another 30 years.

Police put the number of activists in Uelzen at 140, while at Hitzacker there was a “rail move” with HipHop and Rap music.

Protesters’ preparations for the arrival of the train carrying another 12 waste caskets (CASTORS) of German waste from processing in France are going at full pelt.

Meanwhile border police are regularly patrolling the railway tracks. Fifty clergymen and deacons are preparing with “meditation training” for the expected confrontations between activists and police.

The activists are expecting another of the largest German police deployments in postwar German history, said a spokesman for the umbrella resistance group, Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Dannenberg (BI), Francis Althoff.

Althoff said the deployment would again make the “Top 10”. Police say they’ll have fewer officers deployed this time, but commander Friedrich Niehörster gives no numbers.

Althoff criticised the federal environment minister, Jürgen Trittin, for not having turned up in the county for six years despite being invited. Just a year before the government of Social Democrats and Greens (Trittin’s party) took office, Trittin had spoken openly of “the brutal methods of the nuclear state” in 1997, Althoff noted.

He said the smouldering conflict between worried citizens and politicians and industry “continues to be delegated to the police who’re to move us out of the way”. “It remains hard to get used to the fact that the former green arm of parliament is now having the anti-nuclear movement beaten up with truncheons.”

With drumming, theatre, fire torches and all kinds of other fiery magic opponents intend to demonstrate on Friday in the Wendland, as the county is called, before the Castor train arrives.

The Hanover demonstrators called on President Horst Köhler, who was visiting Lower Saxony, not to take an interest only in its positive aspects, but also the plans to make Gorleben “a nuclear toilet”.

ROBIN WOOD pointed out that no final repository for atomic waste exists anywhere on the globe, while the amount of it keeps growing. “At the end of End of 2000 8,400 cubic metres of waste had accumulated in our country. By 2025 it will be almost triple that: 24,000 cubic metres. That’s how long nuclear reactors are allowed to stay on the grid under the ‘atomic consensus’,” says a Robin Wood statement.

“Moreover, politicians of the CDU/CSU [Christian Democrats] and FDP [Liberals] are trying to talk up a ‘renaissance’ of atomic power. One of them is the Lower Saxony environment minister, Hans-Heinrich Sander (FDP).”

“Sander wants an unrestricted use of reactors – according to the principle of ‘who cares what comes after me’,” says Bettina Dannheim, energy specialist at ROBIN WOOD. "He’s also sticking to Gorleben as a final final repository. That is irresponsible. "

For more information: Bettina Dannheim, Energiereferentin, phone 040 / 380 892 21,  energie@robinwood.de, or Ute Bertrand, ROBIN WOOD-Pressesprecherin, phone 040 / 380892 22,  presse@robinwood.de.

One of the oldest veterans of the Gorleben resistance, Lilo Wollny has given up only one activity: sitting down on roads when the Castors are trucked from their rail offloading point in Dannenberg to Gorleben.

“Getting up again is too hard,” says the 78-year-old after three decades of protesting, including as a former member of the national parliament, the Bundestag, for The Greens, although not a member of the party.

During the coming transport, expected to run through France and Germany at the weekend, Wollny intends to be an active organiser again.

Protest against the nuclear activities around Gorleben has become Lilo Wollnys life motto. “As long as young people keep joining us, we can’t give up hope,” says the great-great-grandmother of four.

The old lady will again be assigning places to sleep, handing out food, drink and dry clothes to youngsters coming to her information stand.

Wollny is one of the Gorleben activists of the first hour. When the plans to build a nuclear disposal centre in the Wendland became public in 1977, her life changed.

She remembers that she just could not believe that a huge recycling plant was to be placed into the peaceful Elbe Rive landscape. “This was my paradise.”

As a child she recuperated from the industrial air of Hamburg at her grandparents’ in the Wendland. “We could eat all the cherries we wanted, drink fresh milk and swim in the Elbe. This couldn’t be destroyed.” Aged 19, Lilo Wollny moved to the Wendland for good.

She was uncompromising in the atomic dispute from the beginning. “Those who’re neutral are co-culpable.”

Wollny was active first in local politics, then, aged 60, joined the federal parliament.

When the consensus between Red/Green and the nuclear industry was shaping up in 2000, she quit the party. She remains active for the newly launched Green List in Wendland local politics.

“We’re now in the third generation and have managed at least to stop the nuclear recycling centre,” says Wollny. She adds that the Castor transports remain the only chance to warn to stop producing atomic waste as soon as possible.

But the protests have changed, she says, because it was almost impossible now to pull off any surprise actions. The police have also learned, she says.

Lilo Wollny sees life in the Wendland having changed enormously with the resistance to the nuclear waste. “We used to be four in our village, now 40 go to protest.” The struggle had bonded all classes of society.

Opponents and proponents had also come to an arrangement, she notes. “There’s no more hard confrontation.”
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Unnecessary punching by police

Diet Simon 02.11.2004 - 19:38
At  http://germany.indymedia.org/2004/11/97042.shtml is a report that mounted police used unnecessary violence at the Hitzacker-Harlingen demo last Saturday.

The reporter wrote that 200 people took part in an event with lots of hiphop and rap.

“The police lost their nerve and punched preople indiscriminately in the face, neck and midriff. People were thrown to the ground.”

Three Japanese visitors declared their solidarity and said they faced similar problems at home. Japanese nuclear waste is also processed in France.

“Apart from the pretty good mood and the feeling that the Castor action has begun, many demonstrators were left with unnecessary bruises, black eyes and marks.”

The local EJZ newspaper wrote of a massive superiority in numbers of police, especially on horseback.

A spokesman of the BI was also held for more than an hour, body-searched and pinned almost to the ground with his arms twisted up behind his back.

Pictures at  http://www.randbild.de, homepage:  http://www.castorgruppehitzacker.tk.

A post at  http://germany.indymedia.org/2004/11/97064.shtml, Von Höllenhunden und Drachen, mystifies me, but I guess it means something to insiders.

The reporter writes that kite flying will be allowed during the transport and that a friendly farmer is making his field, which lies outside the 50-metre ban zone, available for it.

The location is between Nebenstedt und Splietau ( http://www.castor.de/nix7/bilder/kartekl5.jpg)

“It is self-evicent that the usual safety regulations for kite-flying will be observed.

“Other farmers are also very receptive to guests and sports enthusiasts if they look out not to damage the fruit of their work,” says the post.