• Germany's news in English

Police clear Stuttgart 21 protest camp

The Local · 15 Feb 2012, 10:45

Published: 15 Feb 2012 10:45 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

City officials said on Wednesday morning they were pleased with how the operation in the Schlossgarten park went. They said 2,500 officers had encountered little violence.

But protesters, who were trying to protect 176 trees that authorities say need to be cut down or moved as part of the project, charged that police had been overly aggressive during the eviction and had even attacked people with batons.

A spokesman for the protesters, Matthias Herrmann, called the operation “hectic and escalating.”

But a Stuttgart police spokesman said that there had been only “occasional baton use” when protesters attempted to set up a barricade. A 38-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly set off fireworks near officials, according to police.

Others protesters had to be forcibly cut away after they chained themselves to trees. Some used pallets to erect barriers on access roads, police said. Two even encased their arms in concrete and police were still figuring out how to deal with them as of mid-morning.

Stuttgart 21 is a multi-billion-euro project that aims to transform the Baden-Württemberg state capital into a major European transport hub by laying 57 kilometres of new track and rebuilding the city’s main train station underground while turning it around 90 degrees.

But many have baulked at the cost of the plan and what they say will be damage to the local environment. Violent protests flared in 2010, but the government has insisted that construction must continue. On Sunday, protesters tried to mount heavy equipment to prevent the cutting down of trees but were removed by police in a prelude to Wednesday's eviction.

At the park, protesters had set up dozens of tents and tree houses before the police operation began at about 3 am. Officers first asked protesters to leave on their own – which some did – before they began the eviction.

Story continues below…

Stuttgart 21 project spokesman Wolfgang Dietrich said the police operation had gone “very well” because protesters had, for the most part, abstained from violence. Authorities could begin felling trees as early as Wednesday afternoon.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:10 February 15, 2012 by pepsionice
Yeah, so the vote came and the residents of the city spoke....full speed ahead. The '21' crew are mostly just losers who won't accept the will of the people. Total cost of the 21 project over the next decade....with all the cops and higher security? Probably double what the project costs in the first place. The '21' protesters are making it the most expensive project in German history. My suggestion as they arrest these guys.....put them on house arrest for twelve months, so they can't go anywhere near construction sites.
17:39 February 15, 2012 by Englishted

Or leave them in the concrete and use them on another building project.
22:17 February 15, 2012 by JDee
A very sad day for Stuttgart. We still have a lot to learn about being a civilised species.
19:01 March 24, 2012 by JohnJefkins
I agree. The people have voied in favour of the project. The protesters should accept that vote. These protesters need to think of all the air flights (eg Paris-Munich) that will be switched to train when the project is finished.

Far more benefit to the environment than the loss of a few trees!

High Speed Rail has a proven record of switching people from air to rail.
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