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Readers share concerns about Stuttgart 21 protests

Readers tell us their opinions of the protests over the Stuttgart 21 project to modernize the city's main train station. Last week police used tear gas and water cannons on the demonstrators, and protests continue.

Protesters against the Stuttgart 21 project getting sprayed by a water cannon in the Schlossgarten outside the Stuttgart train station

Protesters were hosed down and gassed by police

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Police use water cannons, tear gas on Stuttgart train station opponents

Should police use water cannons on the protesters occupying the park?

A country in which the police are using tear gas and water cannons on people who in fact provide their income is not a democratic state anymore. We had and have such problems in Croatia. Instead of arresting politicians, who favor the interest groups instead of the citizens, police arrest conscious and responsible citizens to protect the political elite. The perverse situation in which citizens subsidize the police and the political elite, which together forcibly impose their will on those citizens who they should represent, we well know from Yugoslavia. We also know how these situations can end. Welcome to the Croatian reality. -- Apolonia , Croatia

Remove the trees intact! It might cost a bit more, but it is possible to move mature trees if only temporarily. Stop attacking the people! -- Bruno , Canada

Better they have a party attitude on their demonstrations than a violence attitude, isn't it? This escalation doesn't help anyone, but just makes things worse ... and the project they demonstrate against is useless and just insane, but politicians are not honest or brave enough to change their opinion. -- Julius via Facebook

Demonstrators, for any kind of protest, inevitably tend to get out of hand and provoke a police response. This gets them attention. That's why they protest to begin with. Responsible and professional actions on the part of the police, geared to a minimum of violence, usually keep things under control with little, if any, injuries, unless of course there is a group within the protesters which will do anything to cause mayhem. Water cannons seem extreme to outside observers, but certainly less extreme than bullets. Maintain control with a minimum of force necessary to safeguard lives and property. And hope for the best. -- Gerard via Facebook

If their behavior gets out of hand, or they are not following the lawful commands of the police, then the police should be able to use reasonable force to maintain order. Personally, I do not view the use of water cannons as excessive, but rather reasonable. They could resort to much worse methods. -- Jeff via Facebook

If the protestors are there illegally and refuse to leave when ordered to do so or resort to violence of any kind then the answer is yes, the police are right to use water cannons. -- Christopher via Facebook

One must take care of the little children who participate in protests and water cannons with high pressure can cause huge damage to their soft skins. In our country recently police used water cannons on a teachers protest and they used dirty sewage water. -- Jabbar via Facebook

First trees cut down at controversial Stuttgart railway project site

Cutting trees in the Schlossgarten will be seen as one of the great tragedies of history. How can the German government destroy this revered sanctuary? Those forcing this option should be ashamed - surely there is another satisfactory site to locate the planned high-speed rail! My great grandfather Adam Walter left Wurttemberg in 1869 to immigrate to the US to escape war, poverty, environmental destruction and social turmoil. Has Germany no longer a conscience? The cutting must stop! -- Joan , US

Political fight follows clashes between police and protesters in Stuttgart

I think the project should not be stopped. We need to look to the future and continue with the work to connect Stuttgart with other European cities. It is a great idea. I lived in Stuttgart in the 60s and 70s and have great memories, but time goes on and we need to get with the times and modernize the "Bahnhof." -- Gudrun , US

I was born in Stuttgart, and I have just visited there, on September 16. I was witness to the demonstrations at the Schlossplatz. I completely agree with the protesters. The minimal gain in time for the high-speed rail network does not justify the ever-increasing cost of the project. Also the destruction of the 250 trees in the Schlossgarten should be considered a crime. The federal government should be more involved not just the state. -- Udo , US

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Nancy Isenson