Blockade of the Grohnde NPP

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Climbing activists blockading an access road
Demonstration of hundreds of anti-nuclear protesters to the Grohnde NPP
Tractors accompanying the Grohnde rally
Grohnde NPP. In the background: wind power stations
The banner says: "World Nuclear Heritage"
Spontaneous blockade of police supplies to the climbing action
Anti-nuclear protest camp set up in front of the NPP
Speeches in front of the NPP
Grohnde reactor and the two cooling towers
Close view to the top of the cooling towers
Van promoting the rally in Grohnde
People blocking a police
Gate on the backside of the NPP. The operator blocked it themselves with concrete blocks
Climbing activists blocking this day's main access road to the NPP
The environmental organization Robin Wood was involved in this action
Police and a supporter for the climbers on the bridge
Activists immediately occupied the industrial tracks beneath the climbing action
Climbers on the other side of the bridge
Sit-in blockade on the industrial track to the NPP
"Withdraw nuclear power the ground - Stop uranium enrichment"
People blockading the tracks with a garden bench
Turn off the Grohnde NPP and its operator e.on
Police watching the blockade
NPP behind the fence
Bridge blockade
NPP in the evening light
Side entrance to the visitor center
Nightshot photo of the reactor
Signpost to the NPP, visitor center and administration
Nightshot photo of the cooling towers
Anti-nuclear concert blocking the main access road to the NPP
Nuclear art
Straw bales blocking the last remaining field path usable for the shift change
Barricade of straw and hay also on the road next the protest camp
Massive police forces to detain a popular climbing activist
Police accompanying the detained activist to the police van


With speeches at the railway station a few kilometers from the Grohnde atomic power station the rally started with several hundreds of people. Many tractors and other vehicles accompanied the demonstration showing the farmers protest against the dangerous facility. Arrived at the NPP speakers with several NGOs, activists and foreign anti-nuclear campaigners informed about the threats connected to the Grohnde NPP and other atomic power in general and demanded the immediate phase-out of all nuclear facilities worldwide. Afterwards an anti-nuclear concert was started on a stage in front of the NPP's cooling towers to be continued the whole night.

Several anti-nuclear organizations had provided information stalls besides the main access road to the nuclear power plant, coffee and other drinks were provided as well as vegan food for the protesters that are supposed to stay at the NPP site for 24 hours. A big meadow was provided for individual tents as well as a big circus tent has been set up for the activists. The anti-nuclear concert next to the main access road blocks this street to the NPP as there are so many people to join the music.

Police still behaves calm and didn't intervene much when the access roads to the Grohnde NPP were set up. Around 5 PM CET the first blockade was set up at a highway bridge crossing another access road to the nuclear site. They abseiled with banners demanding the total nuclear phase-out and an end of the uranium industry that provides the nuclear power stations with fuel. One hour later a smaller blockade of a couple of people was set up with a chair and a sign saying "sit out Grohnde" ("Grohnde AUSsitzen") on the road stopping police cars being supposed to support the police forces dealing with the abseiling action. A sit-in blockade on an industrial track and on the road beneath the bridge supported the climbing action with up to 50 people on the ground.

Four hours after the abseiling blockade action started the access road is still blockaded. A journalist talking with a guard of the NPP was interrupted by a loud and annoyed call via his Walkie Talkie: "No discussions at the fence!" Obviously the surveillance of the staff works well at the nuclear facility. And: "Do you understand, patrol 3?"

Around 9.40 PM CET a message was send from the stage to the audience and police objecting to their order to open the main access road for the NPP workers' verhicles. They read out the official demonstration orders made by the police beforehand only forcing the street to be opened for emergency vehicles on short notice if necessary. Thus, the anti-nuclear protesters argue, they don't have to clear the road just for the workers, and they won't do so. After a couple of minutes the police unit that had tried to force to open the road went off.

A couple of minutes later police rudely pushed blockaders from the road next to the blockaded bridge to send a couple of workers' cars to the nuclear power plant for the shift change. No one has been hurt yet, although police treated them with rude force. Currently, police is endagering one of the climbing activists by trying to pull them down using a rope hanging to the ground. One person was indiscriminately detained with violance, their glasses were broken. Later in the night they were released. Police accused them of resistance against police forces.

Around 10 PM CET police ordered the announcer of the demonstration to reduce the demonstration to make it possible for the workers to reach the NPP. Protesters are refusing to follow that order as they believe police has no legal right to change the orders for the demonstration afterwards just to let the workers enter the NPP.

At 11 PM CET the access roads are still blockaded, and police reduced their units in the area. Obviously they succeeded forcing access for the workers when they violently pushed blockaders from the street, and there are rumors that they could have used the police vans to transport workers through the blockade as the activists opened the street blockade next to the stage for police vehicles...

Around 4.30 AM CET a second shift change was supposed to happen. The access road blockaded by climbing activists and a sit-in blockade was not cleared as well as the main access road next to the stage wasn't forced to be cleared for the workers. Instead, another small road was opened by police that had been closed with huge straw bales earlier. Police units removed the huge straw bales, only to be put onto the road again by activists quickly afterwards. At least three times this road was blocked again with straw before all workers' cars had passed the place. Police tried to catch people they suspected to be responsible for the straw barricade. They hunted one person to get their ID, but they were able to escape into a corn field.

In the night another small barricade of straw and hay appeared on the main access road next the protest camp. Around 6.30 AM CET police turned up on the camping site aggressively looking for a responsible person. As no one cooperated with them, they went away soon without results. At 12 PM the next shift change is supposed to take place. As the night shift change was made one hour earlier than supposed, it is possible that the next one could also happen earlier.

Around 8.30 AM CET the first climbing activists left the bridge without being disturbed by police. Some 100 activists had been blockading the Grohnde NPP during the night at several points. Except for one famous and police-known activist all remaining climbing activists could leave the blockade without being disturbed by police. Despite the others, this one activist was waited for by an unbelievable number of police vans and some 30 officers. Although they knew her and called her by her name without having seen her ID, and although they already had taken her fingerprints several times, she was forced to follow police to get detained for a so called "ED" (Erkennungsdienstliche Behandlung = a kind of fingerprinting procedures). This treatment is by the way not covered by any law.

In the early afternoon the camp and rests of the blockades were took down without blockading another time. A media release of the police informs a supporter of the climbing activists to be suspected of resistance against police officers. Around 1 PM CET the climber was released after being detained in a police station. They should be prevented from doing other actions, police eventually said. A lawyer is dealing with the issue now.

Call out: Sitting out the Grohnde NPP

October 2011 - despite of other announcements we still live in the middle of the nuclear age. For the Grohnde NPP the atomic law is a guarantee for the continuation of its operation and the dominance of the four huge electricity companies. Thus, the nuclear age will still accompany and threaten us. To accept the remaining NPP operation times until 2021/22 without resistance would mean to also accept their concomitants: beginning with the continuation of the production of non-disposable atomic waste up to the threat of a new nuclear castrophes. Thus, the anti-atomic movement always and still demands the immediate closure of all nuclear facilities.

Call out for a blockade of the Grohnde NPP on October 2, 2011

"Immediate" means faster than "as fast as possible", without compromises, without regard to economic compatibility, affordability or parlamentarian enforceability! "Immediate" on October 2nd means: Today we will sit down on the access road to the Grohnde NPP, today wie won't let a vehicle enter the site - to already today shut down the NPP.

So far the protest usually had the character of constructive advise on decisions of the government. As all these attempts were not followed, now is the time to take over the closure of the atomic industry - with concrete disturbance of the atomic operations. We probably can't expect mass protests like a few months ago to happen. Thus, there shouldn't be to big expectations. The blockade of the Grohnde NPP will already succeed if we can communicate the demand for an immediate phase-out and if the serousness of the issue would be measured by the resolution of the participants, but not by their number. Blockades are not only an action for activists of Greenpeace or Robin Wood, but an option of protest for everyone who thinks waving "nuclear power - no thanks" flags is not enough anymore, and who are willing to go one step further. Civil disobedience can and has to be done by everyone. It is the right time. The nuclear phase-out is hand work!

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Bridge blockade

Impressions of the nuclear power station