Protesters Battle Police at Brokdorf, Wackersdorf
BROKDORF, West Germany (AP) _ Protesters hurling rocks and gasoline bombs set fire to cars and to a water cannon in clashes with police Saturday as more than 74,000 people demonstrated nationwide against nuclear power.
Police in riot gear fired water cannon and tear gas at violent protesters outside a new nuclear power plant at Brokdorf, in northern West Germany, and at Wackersdorf, in the south, where a nuclear waste reprocessing plant is under construction, a police spokesman said.
Police reported 180 arrests and 29 injuries at those two sites. There were 40,000 demonstrators in Brokdorf and 10,000 in Wackersdorf, where the protest had been forbidden by a Bavarian state court.
The demonstrations were the most violent in West Germany since mid-May, when more than 150 police and dozens of demonstrators were injured at Wackersdorf in three days of anti-nuclear protests.
Ten thousand people demonstrated peacefully Saturday against nuclear power at a meeting of environmentalists in Wuerzburg, and 5,000 took part in a peaceful protest at a nuclear reactor in Hamm, where small amounts of radiation leaked into the air on May 4. The reactor has been temporarily shut down.
Police said 9,300 people, including 4,000 children, took part in a peaceful ″children’s parade″ against nuclear power in Munich Saturday morning.
The worst clashes were reported about six miles from the Brokdorf plant, where demonstrators backed up in traffic in the village of Kleve left their own cars and burned automobiles parked nearby.
Police fought protesters, and nine officers and two demonstrators were hospitalized with serious injuries, according to police spokesman Immanuel Dzatkowski.
One policeman suffered a broken jaw, and another was hit by steel pellets fired by a slingshot, Dzatkowski said. An officer’s machine gun was stolen, he said.
Thirty people were arrested in Kleve. Earlier Saturday, police said, they had arrested 20 other people bound for Brokdorf with firearms and clubs in their possession.
Police arrested 100 people during the demonstration at the plant, where militants threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police and were answered with water cannon and tear gas.
Five thousand police ringed the new plant at Brokdorf, a village of 1,000 about 39 miles northwest of Hamburg.
The plant had been scheduled to start operations this month. But after the April 26 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union, state Gov. Uwe Barschel postponed the startup pending additional checks.
In Wackersdorf, protesters tried to saw through a fence surrounding the construction site and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police.
One firebomb set a water cannon ablaze, and the flames were put out by another water cannon, a police spokesman said. Three demonstrators and two police were hurt in the exchanges of tear gas, water and stones.
Hundreds of Austrians headed for the Wackersdorf protest in buses were turned back at the West German border, police said.