• Germany's news in English

Water cannons turned on Stuttgart 21 protestors

The Local · 30 Sep 2010, 16:42

Published: 30 Sep 2010 16:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Some protesters were injured amid the violent scenes as police exercised force to clear demonstrators from the Schlossgarten, a Stuttgart park which will be excavated as part of the huge railway project.

Thousands of opponents of the project were attempting to stop building contractors’ heavy equipment from getting in to start clearing 300 trees from the park.

Click here for photos of the protest.

A police spokesman said the officers tried to form a defensive line to ensure the passage of the construction workers. But hundreds of people blocked the way, some of whom also jostled police.

The police then formed a large force of manpower to clear the way, which included water cannons and mounted officers. The spokesman refused to say whether police batons were used.

Eyewitnesses said the police had also used pepper spray against protestors.

Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Heribert Rech said federal police as well as officers from Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia were helping his own state’s police with the operation.

It was the job of the police to ensure that this legal, approved building project could go ahead, he said.

“We are fulfilling that (job) – no ifs, no buts,” he said.

The police were aiming for a de-escalation of the situation. But criminal acts or blockades were be dealt with firmly, he said.

The €7-billion Stuttgart 21 project plans to make the city part of a 1,500-kilometre high-speed rail route across Europe. It will require 16 new tunnels, 18 new bridges, 60 kilometres of new train track and three new stations. Stuttgart's terminus will be transformed into an underground through-station – requiring a dramatic re-landscaping of the Schlossgarten.

Story continues below…

The Police Union issued a statement appealing to protestors not to take their anger with the project out on police.

“It has been known for a long time that part of the park will be affected during the building project,” union boss Konrad Freiberg said. “If the opponents cannot win the political argument, they have to accept that. Such a project will not be settled in violent conflicts with the police.”

DPA/DAPD/The Local/dw

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:21 September 30, 2010 by toemag
Way to go. The message you have sent to the people is very clear, "How dare you disagree with us we are the power absolute, now nanny is angry"...
18:26 September 30, 2010 by JDee
"The spokesman refused to say whether police batons were used."

I can confirm they were using batons, I have the bruise on my hand to prove it!

I spent the day observing what was going on and expressing my dissapointment with the project peacefully. I would say that although in general their tactics were restrained they were also provoking the protestors. The upshot of it is, is that there is probably no way they could move 20000 peacefull protestors. They must have realised this in advance and came with a plan. Around 500 police in full riot gear, water cannons, diggers, this was from the beggining. So they needed to escalate things a little inorder to be able to use the water cannons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. They did this by jostling ( yes the police started it everytime ) the protestors, pushing them over, sometimes shoving old people so that they tripped and landed backwards. The crowd would then react ( still peacefully ) pushing back and then the police used batons and pepper spray. This is what happened to me, I got stuck in the middle and then whipped with a baton. I didn't see a single protestor try to push the police or raise an arm unless they were trying to defend themselves. It is still going on, I hope the crowd grows as people leave work.

So much for peaceful protest eh. A number of people were bleeding in from being shot full in the face a close range with the water cannon. Many people looked as if they had facial cuts, broken noses and hundreds were streaming from the pepper spray, which was being used a close range and shot straight into people faces.
19:07 September 30, 2010 by Frenemy
..."Hell No H2O, Hell No H2O"!!!!

19:37 September 30, 2010 by JDee
20:30 September 30, 2010 by Helle
I follwing the case since some days. Now, I dont understand the opposite, what is her cleary point why they lead protest compaign against the project stuttgart 21? I would be very grateful if you could tell me the main resaon.

22:10 September 30, 2010 by Joshontour
@Helle... It is way too expensive. It will cost each person in Germany 3 cents per day for the next 10 years. Plus it will increase the size of the park in Stuttgart and add many new trees to the landscape. How dare they!!
22:25 September 30, 2010 by JDee
Josh, if I chopped your pecker off but in return you could sew on more and the combined length of the 2 new ones was a little bit greater than the length of the old one and you only had to wait 10 years until you could use it, would you consider that a good deal?
22:27 September 30, 2010 by Karolis_LTU
unbelievable.. how can authorities let officers to act with their people like this?? the level is no better then in Belarus or Russia.. I feel sorry for Stuttgart citizens, I checked the pictures of this park, how stupid they have to be destroy it just like that? it takes at least 50-70 years to for a new park to look like he is looking now..
22:46 September 30, 2010 by DinhoPilot
... from the pictures it looks like fun!...

22:52 September 30, 2010 by JDee
Some of the trees are 150 years old, so the new ones will reach that point in 2160... do you think the crappy concrete floating in mud underground 'new' train station will be around then, from my observation the average lifespan of any modern postwar project like this seems to be around 30 years before they known em down and up again. Of course ( not withstanding some miraculous as yet unimagined change in technology ) what we'll probably get is the situation where the underground station and tunnels etc.. will be a costly nightmare maintain in the post fossil future where energy will be hugely expensive. What would be more useful in this imagined future is something a bit closer to 19th centure technology, surprisingly just like the train station and infrastructure they are destroying
23:40 September 30, 2010 by pepsionice
Actually, to make all of them happy...let's move the train station five miles outside of town...and just let folks drive there, and park in a massive parking lot. Let the old station just sit there...and rot away because it's the right thing to do.
01:49 October 1, 2010 by SirCharles

Live pictures from Stuttgart.

Despite a ban until October 6th of the minister machines were felling trees in the Schlossgarten tonight.

03:08 October 1, 2010 by Bishopbayern
jdee "I can confirm they were using batons, I have the bruise on my hand to prove it!"

Good! This project is legal, its not the law decided by jdee and his gang, so if your dont shift your deserve all you get.
05:15 October 1, 2010 by bugger
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

05:34 October 1, 2010 by ovbg
Interesting with people protesting this on the base of the costs. The is a rail project, and a large one, and these things are expensive. But if we always had listened to people opposed to large infrastructure, we would have none at all.

And regarding the park being redesigned. So? It needs to be for a start, it was so dated when I last visited it. As a great lover of urban parks, I found this to be one of the most uninspirational I have ever come across. At the end, we will have better infrastucture and hopefully a better park.

I have little sympathy for these protesters. It is a fully legal action which is being undertaken. The decision was made and now it is being implemented. I pay for things in my taxes which I will never use in this country, but that's life and how it goes. Get over it.
06:52 October 1, 2010 by rfwilson
I live in Vancouver, but have been to Stuttgart dozens of times over the years. It's sad to see some of the Schossgarten being cut down and turned into a soulless modern train station. I wonder if the charming little Cafe am See in the Schlossgarten will be a victim.

A part of Stuttgart's charm will be lost in the rush to commercialization.
09:42 October 1, 2010 by JDee
its my opinion that what looks all whiz bang on the architects plan doesn't always work out to be so great in actuality. the existing park is a little narrow and less mature in areas where it has been dug up before to carry traffic underneath in road tunnels, my feeling is that the new plaza could turn out to be one of those urban wastelands that will destroy the connection between the east end of the park and schlossgarten. anyway its too late now, they are destroying it as we speak, a very sad day indeed
03:23 October 3, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The police, like the protesters, have nothing better to do, and the cops like playing with hoses because they all wanted to be firemen in the first place. There is no crime in Germany, so the police are irrelevant.
11:40 October 3, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Democracy is for the people and by the people... The people are against this. Spending taxes when there is a govt financial crisis!

I agree with you, JDee
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd