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Greens call for national Stuttgart 21 protests

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Greens call for national Stuttgart 21 protests
Demonstrators in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on Friday. Photo: DPA
16:18 CEST+02:00
Following Stuttgart 21 demonstrations that turned violent in Baden-Württemberg's state capital, the environmentalist Green party on Friday called for nationwide protests against the controversial rail project.

“We Greens will demonstrate across the country to show our solidarity with the people of Stuttgart and make clear that we are with those who, against Stuttgart 21, stand for a different rail policy and want to assert their right to peaceful protest,” party co-leaders Claudia Roth and Cem Özdemir said in Berlin.

More than 100 people were reportedly injured in the southern city on Thursday as police turned water cannons and pepper spray on demonstrators, a choice Roth and Özdemir called unjustified and “brutal.”

Click here for photos of the protest.

According to the party leaders, the state's government is attempting to discredit thousands of demonstrators who have been protesting against the controversial project peacefully for months through a strategy of “intimidation and criminalisation.”

The duo also criticised members of the conservative Christian Democrats, including Baden-Württemberg's Interior Minister Heribert Rech and Chancellor Angela Merkel, for their defence of the police operations and alleged attempts to criminalise the protestors.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Greens' parliamentary group, Renate Künast, promised that they would clarify every detail of the clash between demonstrators and police after the party failed to get parliament to address the issue on Friday morning.

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.

The project has become increasingly unpopular among residents there, with protests growing larger and more intense as construction proceeds.

DAPD/ka

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