Castor Resistance 2008 - Big Blockade in Gorleben removed

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Castor: Big Blockade in Gorleben removed

On Saturday, 8th November, several hundred people began a blockade of the main gate of the temporary disposal site in Gorleben by sitting on the street. The action began directly after the Big Demonstration against the Castor transport, held in Gorleben. The blockaders, who numbered over 1000, were not removed by the police until Monday afternoon - 2 days after their action began. Wood and rope constructions, including numerous unmanned tripods and several tents, supported the crowd, as well as several tractors, and two activist climbers who hung a banner between two streetlamps directly over the Main Gate.

It was relatively easy for the public (or fellow activists) to approach the blockade even into Monday afternoon, just before the blockade was removed. There was a huge police presence but it seemed that most cars could pass without being checked or even stopped. To see this lively crowd felt impressive and the atmosphere was bright and happy.

In the afternoon the police announced several times that sitting on the street was illegal and that people should go. They didn't. After that, police announced three times that people will be removed and carried away from the street by police officers if they refused to leave it voluntarily. Activists communicated that they would stay there and remain non-violent and requested of the police to keep calm and carry people without violence from the street. At 13.20 police started to remove people.

Although the officer in charge of handling the action suggested that police would handle the blockaders with respect and carefully, reality showed the opposite: The first attempts to remove activists resulted in people being dragged and pulled without care from the blockade. Especially at the beginning of the first attempts to remove people, many of the activists were ground over the asphalt, so the police were using violence against the blockaders. After some minutes, police stopped this assingment and started again a few minutes later. It seemed again to be violent although the activists didn't act against the police. It lasted some time until the situation changed - then most police officers seemed to handle the blockaders in a more friendly way. However, throughout the removal process there were police officers who acted aggressively and violently towards the activists.

Police officers stood in long chains waiting to be allowed to carry "their" blockaders from the road. These police officers mostly looked relaxed and made jokes - in opposite to some of their colleagues on the street.

After the blockade in Gorleben was removed, several other actions in other places took place. Police needed time until Tuesday morning to bring the transport of high level radioactive waste to the temporary disposal site.

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