STUTTGART, Germany — More than 100 protesters were injured Thursday during a demonstration against construction of train station in downtown Stuttgart, where the controversial “Stuttgart 21” project has been the source of social unrest for weeks.

Although most of the demonstrations against the multi-billion dollar project have been peaceful, authorities Thursday turned water cannons against protesters who were attempting to block construction.

The protests continued Friday at the Schlossgarten, the main city park, causing numerous traffic problems in the city center. Some roads around the train station have been closed to traffic, causing disruptions and detours.

Between 30,000 and 50,000 protesters were expected Friday, according to U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart.

According to German media reports, 116 protesters were injured Thursday and 10 were taken to the hospital for treatment. In some cases, police were forced to use pepper spray after some demonstrators chained themselves to police vehicles.

Years in the making, Stuttgart 21 aims to transform the city into a regional transportation hub, linking together several cities into a high-speed train network. The 7 billion euro project involves demolishing part of the old train station, cutting down numerous trees in the city park and constructing more than a dozen underground tunnels.

The first of the trees were chopped down early Friday despite attempts of some protesters, who tied themselves to trees, according to media reports.

Friday’s protests, scheduled to be held between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., were expected to include speeches and music performances followed by a march though the city center.

author picture
John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now