Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Water cannon being used to deter German activists attempting to halt nuclear transport train.
Water cannon being used to deter German activists attempting to halt nuclear transport train. Photo by Andrew Testa.

International news and other busyness

Trainstopping - The Sequel

Europe’s largest police mobilisation... ever

Squall 16, Summer 1998, pg. 39.

FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS of the anti-nuclear demonstrations in Gorleben, Germany, over the last few years, the German authorities opted to store their nuclear waste in another part of the country (Ahaus), where they hoped that there would be less resistance from protestors and locals.

These hopes proved unfounded and protestors began to organise camps around Ahaus in preparation for the train carrying the nuclear cargo, due to arrive on 25th March.

Eight camps were set up and, due to growing numbers of protestors, the police decided to bring the transport through early on the 20th march in an attempt to outwit the activists. However, a leak to Greenpeace on the 19th resulted in an alarm call going out all over Germany.

The German authorities then undertook the largest mobilisation of police in Europe, ever, to protect the transport; thirty thousand police officers were drafted in to protect the train and its route.

In Ahaus, 5,000 protestors did their utmost to slow it down while, elsewhere along the route, at least five other blockades were attempted. The train finally got through to its final destination - 13 hours late.


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Trainstopping - 15,000 people protest in Germany against the transportation of nuclear waste to Gorleben reprocessing plant. Squall 15 - Summer 1997.