stuttgart21protests.jpgAccording to local press reports police used water cannon, pepper spray
and batons to break up the protest in the Schlossgarten, where around
100 trees are due to be felled to make way for the new station. Police
say 130 people were injured and 16 required hospital treatment, while
26 protestors were arrested.
"I would hope that demonstrations like these would pass off peacefully," Merkel told broadcaster SWR. "This must always be tried and anything that leads to violence must be avoided."
The clashes mark an escalation in protests against the Euros 7 billion
project, which includes a 9.5km tunnel from the main station to the new
airport station, a new 10km link to Wendlingen and a 60km high-speed
line south towards Ulm. Construction began earlier this year but the
complexity of the project means it will not be completed before 2019.

There have been weekly demonstrations against the project for almost a
year, the largest of which took place on August 28 when 30,000
protestors descended on the city centre.