Anti-Nuclear Demonstrators March in France and Germany

On the eve of 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators in France and Germany protested the use of nuclear power and called for a shutdown of their nuclear plants.  Protesters marched on the the Pont de l’Europe, the bridge that links Strasbourg and Kehl, and other bridges that connect France and Germany over the Rhine river. 

Demonstrators chanted “Chernobyl, Fukushima, never again,” while throwing flowers into the rivers below and laying themselves down on the ground as a symbolic “die in” demonstration. 

Demonstrators also protested at the Biblis, Grohnde and Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power stations in Germany, where anti-nuclear sentiments have already been very high, even before the Fukushima incident in Japan. 

“We can not allow the business needs of the very few to destroy our world – like what happened 25 years ago,” said Erhard Renz, one of the organizers of the protest at Biblis. 

The strength in the movement has led to changes in the political realm as well, helping the German Green party to win regional elections while placing more pressure on and hurting the standing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In recent weeks, thousands of have demonstrated against nuclear power since the wake of the Fukushima plant meltdown in Japan.  In India, security measures are being increased at the site of a new proposed six-reactor nuclear plant in Jaitapur, where demonstrators are planning to meet and march against its construction. 

Renz told reporters, “After Fukushima it’s now clear enough that the danger of nuclear power is real”.

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