Thousands march for nuclear-free peace
The traditional German Easter marches for peace and against nuclear power drew thousands to the streets around the country over the weekend.
Many resisted the call of chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday to demonstrate their desire for peace on wheels, with cyclists riding from Essen to Gelsenkirchen and from Herne to Bochum.
The ‘Bikers without Borders’ initiative took their motorbikes to the streets in Cologne calling for an end to nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
Saturday had already seen around 4,000 people sacrifice a sunny day in the park for a march through Berlin to show their desire for peace and a future without nuclear power.
Placards bore slogans such as “Protect civilians in Libya against Nato” and “Stop the criminal aggression against Libya” as well as the traditional anti-nuclear power images.
The march in Hamburg’s city centre attracted only 750 people, calling for the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan and a cease-fire in Libya.
In Bremen marchers protested against weapons exports while in Braunschweig, Hannover, Oldenburg and Osnabrück the calls were for nuclear power to be abandoned as well as for nuclear weapons to be scrapped.
In Düsseldorf those on the streets on Saturday called for the German army to stop advertising in schools while in Duisburg they were more ambitious with their protest, announcing the start of a three-day Ruhr region Easter march.
People also took to the streets in Mainz, where the call was for “A world without war, military or violence”, while in Saarbrücken marchers demanded the withdrawal of the ‘Saarland Brigade’ from Afghanistan.
Other marches in Ellwangen, Mannheim, Heilbronn and Stuttgart called for solidarity with those fighting for social and democratic rights in Arabic countries. Those in Bavarian towns such as Erlangen, Würzburg, Ansbach, Munich, Augsburg and Traunstein also called for war to be ended and nuclear weapons to be made redundant.
Further demonstrations, marches and rallies are planned for Easter Monday, with a particulary emphasis on the anti-nuclear aspect of calls for peace – in the 25th year since the Chernobyl disaster and in the light of recent events in Fukushima in Japan.