Nordhein-Westfallen Secretary of the Interior Declares Blockade
Actions a Criminal Offence
Franz-Josef Kniola, Secretary of the Interior for the German state
of Nordhein-Westfalen, has declared that all protest actions against
the CASTOR transport which involve blockading the railway will be
considered a criminal offence. This declaration is in violation
with a ruling made by the German Constitutional Court, and is also
a direct contradiction of a statement made earlier by Muenster Police
President Hubert Wimber. Wimber, who is responsible for the transport's
police protection, had stated in a public meeting with activist
groups that peaceful blockade actions would be officially treated
as disturbances of the peace, as long as there is no property damage
involved (this has been police policy during other anti-CASTOR demonstrations
Kniola's statement was criticized by the Green Party, which
is hoping to use a policy of understanding and good communication
to help de-escalate conflicts during the demonstrations at Ahaus.
According to the Greens, peacefully blockading the CASTOR railway
is a form of civil disobedience and should not be considered a
criminal act. The BI-Ahaus also criticized Kniola, claiming that
his declaration, as with the planned ban on public gatherings
near the BEZ during the transport, is a blatant attempt to c riminalize
and defame the anti-nuclear movement.
CASTORs to Roll on March 25?
German press sources announced Feb. 27 that the CASTOR transport
is planned to arrive in Ahaus sometime on Wednesday, March 25. The
date cannot yet be definitely confirmed, as the government attempts
to keep the exact transport date secret for as long as possible.
Activist groups have already announced several big actions that
will take place before the week the transport is expected to arrive
(March 23 to 27):
On March 15, a Sunday Walk action has been organized by the
BI Ahaus. The attendance at this action is hoped to exceed the
4000 who participated in the previous Sunday Walk in February.
On March 21, a large rally will take place in Muenster. After
the rally, a convoy will leave Muenster for the demonstrator camps
On March 22, a nonviolent action training is being offered to
all demonstrators who are interested.
Eight demonstrator camps have been organized, all of which will
be governed by consensus. Hot food, dry clothing, medical and
legal assistance, information, art and cultural programs are among
what the camps have to offer.
For more information about planned demonstrations, contact Scott
Shively or (for information in German) visit the
Protests Planned at Nuclear Plant Neckarwestheim
Demonstrations are being planned at the nuclear power plant Neckarwestheim
in southwestern Germany. Three of the six CASTORs which are to be
transported to Ahaus will be coming from Neckarwestheim, and local
activists are planning blockade actions on the railway leading from
the plant. The actions will most likely take place on March 20,
when the CASTORs are expected to be loaded onto a train and joined
by three more CASTORs from the Gundremmingen (south-central Germany)
plant. A large attendance is not expected at the demonstrations,
due to the fact that the local population is not very sympathetic
to the anti-nuclear movement, and that many activists will be at
the demonstrations in Ahaus.
GIPT-Ahaus Team Status
The GIPT-Ahaus team now consists of four persons:
Hanne Beittel, Germany
Scott Shively, USA
Jacqueline Niyorugira, Burundi
Bill Beittel, USA
However, we are still hoping to add at least two more members.
The team will be present in Ahaus from approximately March 15
until the end of the demonstrations, after which it will publish
a report of its observations.
Several human rights, peace, and ecological organisations inside
and outside Europe have openly announced their support for GIPT-Ahaus.
More international support for the project is needed, however, to
make it as effective as possible. Supporting organizations and individuals
would be kept informed of GIPT's actions and of the developing situation
in Ahaus, and may be called upon to protest human and civil rights
abuses, or to raise awareness in their local settings. If you or
your organization is inte rested in supporting the GIPT-Ahaus project,
please contact Scott Shively at the address given at the end of
this email for more information.
The following organizations are official supporters of GIPT-Ahaus:
Nuclear Information and Research Service, USA
Concern for Children and Environment, Nepal
Brethren Service, USA
Center for Education and Networking in Nonviolent Action, Germany
Financial Support Needed!
The projected cost of GIPT-Ahaus is estimated to be approximately
DM 10 000 (around $ 6000). As of yet, only a third of these costs
have been covered. Please send donations in the form of bank cheques,
or transfer donations directly into our Giro account (Account No.
6001333 at KSK Wustrow, BLZ (bank number) 25851335). THANKS!
For Further Information...
For further information about GIPT or the Ahaus conflict, contact
Scott Shively at the address given below.
Scott Shively, GIPT Coordinator
3 March, 1998
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