Austrian activists to block high road to protest truck traffic

Environmental activists planned to block one of Europe's busiest trucking routes for 11 hours Friday to protest truck traffic and pollution they contend threatens Austria's delicate alpine environment, Austrian media reported. Activist groups were joining forces under the slogan "We Want to Live" to stage the protest from 1 p.m. (1100GMT) to midnight (2200GMT) on a stretch of the key north-south A13 highway running from Austria to Italy through the Brenner Pass, a heavily used alpine route in the province of Tyrol, media reported.

Protesters planned to stand, sit or lie down on the roadway to bring transportation of goods and waste materials to a complete halt, the reports said. Opponents are demanding a nighttime ban on trucking through the Brenner Pass between 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) and 5 a.m. (0300GMT), as well as the outlawing of shipments of garbage, hazardous wastes and scrap iron, the reports said. Activists also have called for higher duties and tolls for truckers. Regional officials appealed to the protesters early Friday to reconsider, saying blockades alone would be ineffective, reports the AP.

N.U.