Some tried to block the railway line, others marched on the streets.
In Germany, tens of thousands of people have been protesting against the arrival of a train bringing nuclear waste from France.
Environmental group Greenpeace was on the frontline. But despite an eye-catching stunt in which activists dangled from a bridge, they failed to stop the train from crossing German territory.
Anti-nuclear sentiment is running high amid opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to extend the lifespan of the nation’s atomic power plants.
Defending the right to stage peaceful protests, she condemned the removal of gravel from train tracks, saying “there are limits”.
“That is a criminal offence,” she added.
Carrying what protesters have dubbed the most radioactive shipment of nuclear waste in history, the train was re-routed after being held up by protesters in France on Friday.
The 123 tonnes of reprocessed nuclear waste began its rail journey in Normandy, crossing into Germany at Kehl en route to a storage site in Gorleben.
French nuclear giant Areva maintains the operation is safe and insists the amount of waste is similar to previous shipments.