About one hundred thousand demonstrators gathered in Bonn, West Germany on Sunday (14 October) demanding an end to nuclear development.
About one hundred thousand demonstrators gathered in Bonn, West Germany on Sunday (14 October) demanding an end to nuclear development. The organisers of the rally called it the biggest demonstration in post-war Germany, with groups from all over the country taking part.
SYNOPSIS: West Germany's nuclear development programme has ben at a virtual standstill for six years because of environmental protests. Earlier the government was forced to shelve plans for a nuclear reprocessing plant near the East German border after violent demonstrations. And Est Germany's Ecology Party has made a major political breakthrough. Last weekend it won its first parliamentary seat in the northern city of Bremen. The so called "Green Movement" has quickly picked up support through campaigns like this aimed at halting the construction of nuclear power stations and reprocessing plants.
The protest was organized by a nationwide federation. Also present was Kathy McCaughin of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - the site of the nuclear leak in the United States. She was given a standing ovation during her speech in which she said that the Harrisburg accident proved that "the atomic system, and nuclear experts had failed." Trade Union speakers were also wildly applauded when they said thousands of jobs could be created by using alternative technology, rather than developing nuclear power.
Other speakers charged that Western governments had created an artificial panic about energy supplies as a means of carrying out unpopular nuclear programmes. The rally ended without incident - a marked improvement from other protest rallies in West Germany. Now the political war cry of the anti-nuclear lobby has become "either our leaders must change their policies, or we must change our leaders."