Thousands of demonstrators expected for anti-nuclear rally in Berlin on Saturday


Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters are expected in the German capital Berlin on Saturday for a demonstration called by more than 100 organisations, with a national election due on the 21st

The pro-nuclear CDU conservatives of Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to win hands-down and although a majority of their own voters oppose nuclear power, if she wins, Merkel is likely to undo a pact that now sets nuclear electricity production by 17 stations to stop by 2020. 

The demonstration alliance includes environment and industry associations, trade unions and citizen groups. It will conclude a tractor trek of several hundred kilometres by farmers from Gorleben, site of an interim and projected permanent nuclear waste dump roughly half-way between Hamburg and Hanover in the north.

It departed Gorleben on the 29th of July and at times numbered 200 vehicles as people along the route joined in temporarily and for all the way. 

The demo alliance demands that the long-promised end to nuclear power should happen at last and that green energies be rapidly expanded. After the election there must be no extension of nuclear station running times, they should be shut down instead. Gorleben is rejected as the final waste repository. 

As well as environment groups, in Berlin representatives of green power industries, churches and the umbrella trade union movement will speak.

Ulrike Mehl of the Federal Environment and Nature Protection Association (BUND) says: “Power companies are putting their hopes on the time after the election so they’re using lousy tricks to save their old stations into the next legislative period. 

“The Union (Merkel) and FDP (Liberals, who’ll probably be her partners if she holds on) are also lobbying to overturn the end to nuclear power and by that stand against the energy turnaround and against more climate protection.” 

“Aging effects and material attrition pose increasing threats for the population. And of all things the very nuclear stations that should have been shut down long ago for safety are to stay on the grid longer. 

“We call on all women and men to demonstrate with us against this on Saturday.”

The lack of disposal technology for nuclear waste is already reason enough on its own to switch nuclear power stations off immediately, says Jochen Stay of the "ausgestrahlt" organisation. 

“While the energy corporations are raking in the money with the nukes, society is to carry the follow-on costs. Not a single gram of nuclear waste has been safely disposed of after 50 years of nuclear power. 

“No one can say for the future with certainty, either, how and where safe disposal is going to be possible. 

“The final repository project in the Gorleben salt dome, chosen in power politics though geologically totally unsuited, now has to come off the table.”

According to the deputy president of the German Federation of Renewable Energies (BEE), Hermann Albers, longer nuke operation and plans to build new coal burning electricity generators stand in the way of further growth of renewables. 

"Nuclear and coal stations can’t adapt to the system of the renewable energies, the coexistence of the technologies is a fairytale of the big power companies. The decided nuclear closure will be more than made up for by expansion of renewables. 

"By 2020 the renewables can provide almost half of the electricity supply. That will need reliable framework conditions and abidance by the nuclear closure decision."

A leader of the engineering workers union, Wolfgang Rhode, pointed to the positive economic effects of consistent climate protection and the big potential of the renewables as a jobs driver. "The nuclear lobby is trying to sell us nuclear power stations as climate protectors. 

“But anyone who keeps banking on nuclear power is retarding a climate-friendly energy supply, blocks innovations and investments and the creation of thousands of jobs.” 

“Consistent growth of renewables can produce up to 400,000 qualified jobs and this chance has to be seized.”


Press contact: Thorben Becker, BUND / Tel. 030-27586-421, Mobile: 0173-6071603 or Rüdiger Rosenthal, BUND / Tel. 030-27586-425, Mobile: 0171-8311051, E-Mail:,


Pictures of the tractor trek at the Asse II nuclear dump taking in 12 cubic metres of brine daily:

Neo-Nazis from all over Europe are meeting for a large rally in Dortmund also on Saturday. That is likely to pull many anti-Nazi demonstrators who would normally got to the anti-nuclear one.

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