At 7 am (central european time) the environmentalists, unnoticed by police, went under the bridge in inflatable boats and climbed up to the track using special ladders and ropes. A A group of 15 activists fixed chains to the rails and secured climbers under the bridge with them while the other 30 activists remained below in the boats. Between the two piers of the bridge climbers unfurled a 10 metre by 5 metre triangular banner saying "Stop Castor" – the containers the nuclear waste is being transported in. The activists occupied the bridge for about six hours before being arrested by police at 12.45 pm.
Activists from 15 nations including; Austria, the United States, Turkey, Holland, United Kingdom, Australia, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, were involved in the action. They were protesting against the resumption of nuclear shipments between France and Germany following a suspension of the shipments in 1998.
The Jeetzel bridge is on the rail route between Lüneburg and Dannenberg, where the Castor containers or flasks will be unloaded from the train and put on heavy lorries for transport to the interim storage at Gorleben. Two years ago it emerged that the bridge, which was 125 years old, was in need of repair. After that only passenger trains were allowed to go over it. The old bridge was in the end torn down and a new bridge built at a cost of approximately seven million German marks.
"As long as nuclear power plants produce radioactive waste by the tonne which is then shunted all over Europe, people will go on the streets to demonstrate peacefully against it," said Greenpeace's energy expert, Veit Bürger,. The many protests accompanying the nuclear shipment are a clear sign that nuclear energy is not socially accepted. The consensus on nuclear power has not changed this.