Court overturns some Gorleben demo curbs

von 04. Nov. 2004 14:20

A court has overturned some of the restrictions placed by regional authorities on demonstrations against the imminent transport to Gorleben of German nuclear waste returning after processing in France.

The administrative court in Lüneburg, near the picturesque north German village, ruled that the assembly ban in a 50-metre corridor either side of the waste route between Lüneburg and Gorleben was partly in violation of the freedom of assembly and partly illegal.

The court ruled that not all registered assemblies could be forbidden on roads to be used for the transport.

The court gave as its reasons that during waste transports in recent years the number of endangerments and infringements of the law had constantly declined. It was therefore a breach of the principle of appropriateness to forbid all registered assemblies without examining the merits of each case.

The court ordered the Lüneburg district government to examine whether a marathon run by 200 people registered by the anti-nuclear civic action group really was grounds for security concerns.

The group had filed its case because of this ban.

Twelve Castors caskets are to leave Normandy Sunday evening and are expected in Lüneburg Monday.

Fewer demonstrators are expected this year than last year. “I’ll personally be satisfied if 3,000 come,” says Francis Althof, spokesman for the civic action group.

Police say they’ll also have fewer people assigned, though their on-site commander, Friedrich Niehörster, would reveal no number. Last year it was 12,500 police and border police just in the county containing Gorleben. Niehörster expects about 3,500 protesters.

Althoff claimed that natiionwide abouit 18,500 police would guard the Castor railing and trucking.

The activists have already said that although demonstrations directly by the tracks are banned, they will mound massive actions to hinder the train on its way through Germany to Dannenberg, the railhead where the waste will be offloaded by crane on to low-loader trucks which will make the last journey of 20 kilometres.

A big rally is planned for Saturday at Gorleben in which framers plan to take part with 200 tractors.

Althoff says artists will be performing satire and hiphop. 35 cultural events are lined up.

A big sit-down road blockade is also planned.

Especially the 20-km stretch from Dannenberg to Gorleben will be used by activists to stop the transport as often as possible by sitting on the road.

In the past this triggered clashes with the police. Last year medics attached to the activists reported 85 of them injured by police.

"We want to handle the demonstrators sensibly,” said Niehörster. He’ll have so-called conflict managers out in the field to head off trouble.

Niehörster will receive reinforcements from all over Germany except from Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

"We’ve got no conflict with the police,” saysy Althof. The politicians were the enemy.

(Translated by Diet Simon)

Bearbeitet am: 30.07.2005/ad


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