The eve of the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe was the occasion for a Moscow protest against nuclear energy and government plans to import nuclear waste to Russia. On April 25, activists from 30 Russian cities, many dressed in mock radiation protection suits, began crawling across Red Square, symbolically bringing nuclear waste to the decision-makers' door.
Minutes after the demonstration began, police moved in. With their clubs they shoved and beat both demonstrators and journalists, damaging cameras, exposing film to the sun and destroying video cassettes. Police then fanned out into surrounding streets, pursuing demonstrators who sought to escape the assault. At least 25 people were arrested for demonstrating without a permit. An administrative judge found them all guilty, and released them with only a warning.
The same day in Spain, Greenpeace activists from nine nations took direct action at the Zorita nuclear power plant. While 20 resisters locked down at the gate, a group of 16 others entered the site and moved quickly to the reactor containment dome, revealing disturbingly lax security. A single guard gave chase, shouting for them to stop and firing a pistol shot into the air for emphasis. Most stopped, but six continued until they were atop the dome, where they unfurled huge banners demanding the plant be shut down immediately. The six were arrested several hours later after declaring the demonstration a success and descending from the containment dome.