Germans Hold Massive Anti-Nuke Rallies

Some 200,000 Germans throughout Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne participated in what are thought to be the country's largest-ever protests against nuclear power. Police reported that more than 100,000 protesters marched in Berlin alone, while Munich police said 30,000 protesters took to the streets. Organizers of the demonstrations claimed that 50,000 marched in Hamburg and 40,000 in Cologne as well. The protests fall on the night before state elections in the city of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where two reactors were recently shut down and where green-energy supporters and Social Democrats are expected to do well in polls. "Today's demonstrations are just the prelude to a new, strong, anti-nuclear movement," said a spokesperson of Ausgestrahlt—the organizers' group. Germany was hit hard in the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster and—in light of Japan's nuclear crisis—has experienced a resurgence in anti-nuclear sentiment. Roughly 23 percent of the country's energy comes from nuclear plants.