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Germany

Stuttgart 21 demonstrators protest tree transplant

Attempts to transplant trees at the site of the Stuttgart 21 rail project have sparked a large protest. In spite of high emotions, no violence has been reported.

A tree is removed on Tuesday

The tree transplant went ahead despite the protest

More than 1,000 people have protested efforts to transplant trees at the construction site of Stuttgart's controversial rail project early Tuesday.

It was the latest demonstration against the Stuttgart 21 project, which has sparked heated responses in Germany's sixth-largest city.

Police removed protesters who were blocking the path of special construction vehicles on their way to transplanting 16 trees from near the northern wing of Stuttgart's old train station to another part of the city.

The demonstration followed an announcement Monday by Stuttgart 21's communications office that the trees were to be transplanted. The office said the 200,000-euro ($273,000) effort was not part of conditions set in November to allow the construction of the new train station.

Months of protests

A demonstrator climbs a tree near Stuttgart 21 in September

Protests have been ongoing for months

On Monday evening, police said about 3,000 protesters again called for work on the project to stop.

Stuttgart was the site of massive protests last year, with many residents saying plans to replace the city's old train station with a new one were too expensive.

Demonstrators' efforts to prevent trees at the site of the new station from being cut down saw police resort to water cannons and tear gas in October.

Protests have continued since arbiter Heiner Geissler approved the project with some modifications in November.

Author: Shant Shahrigian (AFP, dpa, dapd)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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