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« More photos from Bundestag protest | Main | 7 Great Lakes States U.S. Senators object to radioactive waste shipment from Canada to Sweden »
Friday
Oct292010

2,000 German activists form human chain around parliament during vote to extend reactor licenses

The German Bundestag (parliament) voted on Thursday to extend the lifespan of the country's 17 nuclear power plants, overturning a decision made 10 years ago by the then ruling Social Democrat-Green Party. The decision has infuriated the opposition as well as hundreds of thousands of activists who have already taken to the streets on several occasions in huge numbers to protest relicensing. As the decision was made, 2,000 protesters formed a human chain around the Bundestag. The Social Democrats and Greens have decried the decision and promise to reverse it should they regain leadership of the country. They also object to the government's apparent by-passing of the lower house, or Bundesrat, where Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats do not enjoy a majority. During the protest against the vote, Greenpeace climbers scaled the roof of the CDU party headquarters and unfurled a banner showing Merkel celebrating with a leader of one of the major nuclear companies.