Thousands join German anti-nuclear protests
More than 100,000 demonstrators staged nationwide protests in Germany on Monday calling for an end to nuclear power as part of the traditional Easter March, organisers said.
A total of 144,500 protesters took part in demonstrations at 12 different sites, they said. Police did not give an estimate on numbers of participants.
In the northwest town of Gronau, home to a uranium enrichment facility, more than 10,000 people protested to demand the closure of the site, organisers said.
Demonstrations also took place at Germany's nuclear power stations, including Biblis in the southwest and Krummel in the north, in the wake of the Fukushima plant catastrophe in Japan last month.
The crowds also protested against military interventions in Libya and Afghanistan.
On the French-German border, between Strasbourg and Kehl, about 700 people echoed the call for an end to nuclear power at a demonstration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
"It's not enough to declare a moratorium and hope that satisfies people", said Jochen Stay, spokesman for anti-nuclear group "Ausgestrahlt".
The German government imposed a three-month moratorium on extending the lifespans of the nation's nuclear reactors following the Fukushima disaster, caused by the tsunami that hit Japan's northern coast on March 11.
Just last year Chancellor Angela Merkel granted 12-year extensions to the country's nuclear reactors, which produce about a quarter of Germany's electricity.
Protests also took place in Berlin and Hamburg on Saturday as part of the Easter March, an annual peace protest which enjoyed massive popularity during the Cold War, when up to 300,000 people demonstrated each year against nuclear weapons.
© 2011 AFP