|Camp in December 2011 (Photo by Andre Vltchek)|
They marched in tens of thousands, they camped in tent colonies, and they even set their temporary homes in the treetops. The people of the city of Stuttgart – one of the mightiest economic mussels of Europe – were united in one single goal: to defend and save their historic train station against the turbo-capitalist development project called Stuttgart 21. They protested and they campaigned, but in the end they lost. In February 2012, security forces encircled one side of the monumental building and heavy equipment was moved in, beginning the demolition of the old brick walls. Some people stood nearby crying, others were clenching their fists. One thing was certain; Stuttgart would never be the same again.
People from all around the world know Stuttgart as the city that produces some of the most luxury cars, both Mercedes Benz and Porsche.
The core of this the richest city in Germany is relatively small - only 600,000 inhabitants - while the Stuttgart Metropolitan Region counts some 5 million inhabitants. It is not cars but mainly the trains that have been connecting satellite towns and suburbs with the central city.