Video/Movies – Wackerland (December 1985) How Protestors Stopped A Nuclear Project

This article and videos below, describe and detail some of the ingredients of a successful protest of a nuclear facility. The Wackerland nuclear fuel reprocessing facility was planned, but then never built, due to the continuing protests that lasted for 8 years. Up to 10,000 protestors regularly met at the site of the planned facility or in the major city nearby. Protestors built two different encampments and pitched tents, creating a permanent camp. The police tore the camp down twice, but protestors built it back up again. 

For more details, click on the videos below, which are in German. Rough translations are provided below each link.
video #1
There were also massive anti nuclear protests, which are shown in the next video. Whole streets were blocked off, with 1,000 to 3,000 police in full riot gear and carrying rubber bullets, batons and tear gas. Efforts were made to isolate and take out leaders of the movement, which the protestors resisted by forming human chains, linking arms and surrounding their leaders. At the nuclear facility build site, construction started by clearing the forest of 500,000 trees. At this time, the protest movement marshaled only a small group of protestors at the site of the plutonium processing plant. The delayed the felling of trees and clearing of land only briefly, but it was a beginning of the protest movement. 
video #2
The protests gathered strength and resisted activities of the construction more urgently and in more ways. Up to 30,000 protestors gathered at the edge of the build site. The police built a fence at the entrance and had riot and police vehicles parked permanently at this guarded entrance. The police also blocked the roads leading into the site and searched all cars going in. They tried to turn protestors around and keep them from getting to the protest. Protestors managed to get through and built barricades to not allow construction vehicles in our out of the site. The protestors settled in and stayed for 48 hours. Police responded by surrounding the protestors with over 1,000 police, driving them into a tight circle, and not allowing them to go to the bathroom, not allowing any food, and not allowing them any water. When this did not work to disperse protestors, they used tear gas on the helpless protestors. Once the protest was broken up with tear gas, each individual protestor was forcibly photographed in the woods, while being held up by a police man on either side. Over 800 protestors were arrested and hauled away. 
video #3
The protestors did not give up, and with renewed energy, went back to the build site and with basic tools, built a permanent encampment with wood found on the site, despite cold, winter rains and muddy conditions. A support movement also evolved, in order to move food and liquid as well as other necesities to the protestors. Musicians held anti nuclear benefit concerts, with the money going to the protestors and supporting their efforts. Newspapers supported the nuclear industry, and printed lies about the protestors, to try and discredit and take away support from the movement.  The protestors gathered strength from all age groups, and all areas of Germany. 
video #4
This last video provides an illustration of the news media eventually doing some research and providing some evidence of the lies coming from the nuclear industry about the plant, and the dangers posed by it. They also looked at the financial cost, and how the government sold the land for 2,000,000 to the private for profit nuclear company behind the recycling facility. The forest itself was worth that much, so basically a huge amount of land was handed over to the company for free. Spent fuel would be hauled to the facility, ‘recycled’ and then put back into other nuclear reactors. There was still no answer to the leftover spent fuel. The entire cycle of the reprocessing is expensive, dangerous, and toxic, emitting enormous amounts of radioactive substances into the environment and going down wind or down stream to the residents living in a circle 200 kilometers away. One of the experts claims that 96% will be recycled, which has been proven to be false. For more information about spent fuel recycling or reprocessing, click on the following links. 
Per Wikipedia; “In the early 1980s plans to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the Bavarian town of Wackersdorf led to major protests. In 1986, West German police armed with stun grenadesrubber bulletswater cannonsCS gas and CN-gas were confronted by demonstrators armed with slingshots, crowbars and Molotov cocktails at the site of a nuclear reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf.[1][2] The plans for the plant were abandoned in 1988. Protests and plant economics plus the death of the Minister-President of the state of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauß 1988, led to the decision.[3]
The Anti-WAAhnsinns Festivals were political rock concerts which took place in Germany in the 1980s. Their purpose was to support protests against the planned nuclear reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf. In 1986, the fifth festival marked the peak of the protest movement against the plant.

Protest Monuments[edit source | editbeta]

Ex-voto in Kreuzberg Church, Schwandorf To this day there are still some monuments to the WAA resistance:

  • Francis shrine (chapel) with the “Cross of Wackersdorf”
    At the shrine in the mid-1980s, WAA opponents met every Sunday at 14:00 for an ecumenical prayer and then moved into the area or to the hoarding. This is the same place where today the “Marterlgemeinde” meet four times a year to a prayer: at the Chernobyl- and Hiroshima-commemoration in memory of the shrine’s saint Francis of Assisi on 3 October and on Christmas Eve.
  • Anti-WAAhnsinns Festival plaque at Lanzenanger inBurglengenfeld
  • Anti-WAA ex-voto in the Church of Our Lady at Kreuzberg, Schwandorf
  • WAA resistance memorial in front of the lake facilities, Bregenz Festspielhaus

Documentary films[edit source | editbeta]

WAA about some German documentaries were filmed.
  • WAAhnsinn – Der Wackersdorf-Film (documentary film 1986) [4]
  • Spaltprozesse – Wackersdorf 001 (documentary film 1987) [5]
  • Restrisiko oder Die Arroganz der Macht (documentary film 1989) [6]
  • Das achte Gebot (anti-atom-documentary film 1991) [7]
  • Halbwertszeiten (WAA-documentary film 2006) [8]
  • Albtraum Atommüll (ARTE-documentary film 2009 über den Verbleib von Atommüll und über die Gefahren der Kernenergie) [9]
  • WAA Wackersdorf: Strahlende Zukunft für die Oberpfalz (Monitor-documentary 1986 von Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, Ekkehard Sieker, Helge Cramer) [10]
  • 18 Tage freies Wackerland (Medienwerkstatt Franken, Bibliothek des Widerstands Band 19, BellaStoria Film) [11] [12]
  • Schreckgespenst WAA – Widerstand in Wackersdorf (Medienwerkstatt Franken, Bibliothek des Widerstands Band 19, BellaStoria Film) [13]
  • WAA-Schlachten (Medienwerkstatt Franken, Bibliothek des Widerstands Band 19, BellaStoria Film) [14]
  • Wackersdorf – ein Mythos? Was ist aus den WAA-Kämpfern von einst geworden? (Medienwerkstatt Franken) [15]
  • Lieber heute aktiv als morgen radioaktiv (ttt – titel, thesen, temperamente, Beitrag von Lars Friedrich) [16]
  • Zaunkämpfe (Medienwerkstatt Franken 1988, BellaStoria Film) [17]
  • Kirche unterstützt Mahnwache am Wackersdorfdenkmal (Salzburger Nachrichten[18]
  • Der Fahrradspeichenfabrikkomplex (Hörbuch-Feature 2010 von Angela Kreuz und Dieter Lohr)
Many other films and documentaries are available at “WAA Wackersdorf” on video portals such as Vimeoor YouTube.”


Video/Movies – Wackerland (December 1985) How Protestors Stopped A Nuclear Project; via @AGreenRoad

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Video/Movies – Wackerland (December 1985) How Protestors Stopped A Nuclear Project; via @AGreenRoad