INTRODUCTION: West Germany's peace movement, in a massive challenge to NATO nuclear strategy, rallied a quarter of a million people in Bonn on Saturday (10 October) at the biggest protest the country has seen since World War Two.
GVs Marchers with banners. (3 SHOTS)
SV Singer Harry Belafonte.
GV Marchers chanting and carrying flags and banners. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Marchers gathered for rally in university grounds.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: West Germany's peace movement, in a massive challenge to NATO nuclear strategy, rallied a quarter of a million people in Bonn on Saturday (10 October) at the biggest protest the country has seen since World War Two. The demonstrators, mostly young pacifists, ecologists and leftists, came in 42 special trains and 3-thousand buses to demand a nuclear-free Europe and protest at NATO plans to deploy U.S. Cruise and Pershing-2 missiles.
SYNOPSIS: The vast march highlighted public opposition to the stance taken by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who has championed NATO's 1979 decision to start deploying the new weapons in 1983 unless arms curbs are agreed with the Soviet Union beforehand. Among those protesting was singer Harry Belafonte.
The protesters headed towards the Bonn city centre in five huge columns stretching as far as the eye could see. They carried banners proclaiming Reagan's Peace Is Our Death, Scrap Nuclear Missiles, Spend the Money on jobs, Down With NATO And the Warsaw Pact, and Get West Germany Out Of NATO. The rally was called to demand abrogation of NATO plans to station 572 U.S. Cruise and Pershing-2 medium range nuclear missiles in western Europe. Most shops in central Bonn were closed and had their windows barred up.
A chilly wind and rain did little to cool the demonstrators' ardour, as they converged for a rally at the Hofgarten in front of Bonn's 18th century University. Some politicians had feared violence, but the rally had taken on the air of a pop festival by mid-afternoon. Police say they arrested only 11 people.