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17,000 police can’t get nuclear waste train through German protest

Police used tear gas, baton charges, horses, water cannon, pepper spray and human brute force but wave after wave of protesters continued to swarm on the last stretch of track before the city of Dannenberg.

Fierce battles as nuclear ‘train of death’ held up in GermanyA nuclear waste train inching through Germany was unlikely to reach its destination until Monday after massive protests along every foot of railway line. Telegraph By Allan Hall in Berlin 07 Nov 2010 “….The security operation to ensure the cargo of reprocessed fuel from nuclear power stations in Germany reaches its destination is one of the biggest ever mounted with 17,000 police officers on duty.

The train left a reprocessing plant in France on Friday and was due at Gorleben in north West Germany at midday on Sunday.

But as night began falling it was halted some 35 miles away from its destination by protesters.

Police used tear gas, baton charges, horses, water cannon, pepper spray and human brute force but wave after wave of protesters continued to swarm on the last stretch of track before the city of Dannenberg.There the 135 tons of waste must be loaded on to lorries to be driven the last few miles into the storage centre.

Local hospital casualty units reported swarms of injured demonstrators, many of them elderly, who were hurt in the mêlées. No police were injured when a Molotov cocktail set fire to an armoured car.

Regular train services in the north of Germany were delayed throughout the day as the protesters had to be cleared one by one from the path of the nuclear transport.

Farmers used their tractors to blockade a road at Dannenberg in support of the demonstrators. Police said the clashes were among the fiercest they had encountered in years.

The head of Germany’s Green Party, Claudia Roth, was among those last night involved in a sit-down protest on the road to Gorleben as police appealed for calm. Costs for policing for the train which left a nuclear fuel reprocessing France on Friday has already gone over the £50 million.

The protests look like being politically costly for Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her poll ratings are at historic lows, driven further down by her renewed commitment to nuclear power.

Fierce battles as nuclear ‘train of death’ held up in Germany – Telegraph

November 8, 2010 - Posted by | Germany, opposition to nuclear | , , , , , , , ,

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