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Greens call for national Stuttgart 21 protests

The Local · 1 Oct 2010, 16:18

Published: 01 Oct 2010 16:18 GMT+02:00

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“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.

Story continues below…

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


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Your comments about this article

17:47 October 1, 2010 by FreiburgandCambridge
Ah Stuttgart 21 yawn yawn.......

For God's sake, get a life people!!
18:04 October 1, 2010 by catjones
Sacrifice life and limb (and maybe an eye) to protest a train station?
18:24 October 1, 2010 by Sarah Washington
If readers choose to remain ignorant, of course they will be confused.

This has nothing to do with fighting against 'progress', it is purely symptomatic of the methods chosen to realise such massive development projects. I am willing to bet that most protesters are 100% behind developing a great rail network. They don't however want to see their city turned upside down and billions wasted in the process.

Find another method, that's all. End of problem. (One that doesn't involve felling hundred year old trees in a treasured inner-city park. Nor radical building works that will disrupt daily life, and more importantly, reduce quality of life.)

Germany has the technology, the engineers, the designers. Now use your heads for a change instead of chasing building constructor's wet dreams.
21:17 October 1, 2010 by Bloomy
So you suggest a railway station that is as effective as S21 and doesnt require a large building site inside the city? Sounds to me like a railway station outside the city. I doubt any of the residents would be in favor of that.

Also the project has been planned and known in public for 15 years. There have been 6 elections since then (3x Mayor, 3x Landtag) and the CDU won all of those elections. That makes me doubt the the majority of the population is against the project.

And about the title of the article: "Greens call for national Stuttgart 21 protests".. In my opinion thats just an election campaign. The question "Will you stop Stuttgart 21 if you get elected?" was answered by them with "We can´t promise that."
21:45 October 1, 2010 by wxman
Yeah, "you are the people" alright. The people who should STFU.
21:56 October 1, 2010 by Small Town Boy
How easy it is to sit at home behind a computer and deride people who are prepared to fight for something they believe in. Sad, especially given their obvious lack of awareness of the issue.
22:43 October 1, 2010 by VoodooDingy

Well said! ;-) There's nothing more to add
23:38 October 1, 2010 by krautrock
Stuttgart 21people are a bunch of P. R. incompetents, to say the least. Time to remove them and get a new gov.
01:24 October 2, 2010 by JDee
+1 Sarah Washington

The protestors are not against progress, they just want it to be proportianal and rational without costly fadish schemes that have no purpose other than to create economic displacement that lands in the pockets of the few at the loss of the wider community
01:50 October 2, 2010 by Bishopbayern
typical greens.......we want better public transport then demonstrate against it!
05:34 October 2, 2010 by michaeln
Strange people­with all the things that could be protested in Germany today, the Greens oppose a development project that will positively effect employment and economic growth in favor of trees. As this article and some comments have pointed out, S21 has been through the democratic process. Greens are tapping the irrational vein in German society, much like the Tea Party in the USA, and it looks just as detached from the normative views of the mainstream.
14:38 October 2, 2010 by Struwel
It does not only seem to be about trees but, like the Spiegel online article "Stuttgart's White Elephant - Germany Spends Billions on the Wrong Rail Project" (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,717575,00.html) tells also about money.
17:44 October 2, 2010 by Joshontour
Tired of hearing about "how expensive" this project is, there are 82,000,000 people in Germany. This project lasts 10 years. That is less than 3 cents per person per day.
21:22 October 2, 2010 by bigcletus
I've seen the Green protests before..many times actually. They are far from peaceful. The goad the police into taking action then cry and whine when they get roughed up, all for the cameras.
00:20 October 3, 2010 by Psychoid
Fact 1: A call for a referendum was rejected in 2007 because "the contracts have already been signed many years ago"

Fact 2: It doesn not cost 2.5 billion € as planned, but they calculating 11 billion € now. In 10 years they'll probably be at 20 billion.

Fact 3: There is no profit for the region. The only people who profit are politicians, who receive donations from companies, and investment and building companies, who like to donate to politicians. Oh and interregional travellers need to spend 13 minutes less in Stuttgart. And the Stuttgarters? They will have less rails and more delays. And for that they destroy a historical park, which is public property.

Fact 4: It's not just Greens who are up against this. Even conservative voters are against this project and were shocked by police brutality against peaceful students.

Fact 5: If a state answers civil disobedience of teenagers with strategic violence, then the so called democracy must be very sick.

In a healthy democracy teenagers can protest peacefully without fear of getting their nosebones broken by police or even get their eyes shot out by a waterthrower.

Those who made the police attack children are no better than drunk idiots who beat their children every night.
09:03 October 3, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
Well said Psychoid:

The arguements around this project have been raving in my own household for weeks now. I started with the opinion of most of the folks on this chain but the force of the arguements has caused me to spend a lot time understanding what exactly is going on.

There are too many cases of legal opposition having been suppressed way before the actual work started, and the way that the officials are reacting supports that something is amiss in the process. Merkel and her party have gone a long way to support this project and the protests show that she has a lot to lose here.

Don't just look at the photos here, read all of the material in the German the press: Its not just teenagers, Green sterotypes or the ubiquitous Autonomen, there is a true cross section of society coming out against this. And this in B-W: not exactly the home of radical thought, is it?
08:49 October 4, 2010 by JDee
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