Merkel calls for calm as rail protest turns ugly: "Chancellor Angela Merkel called for calm Friday after riot police used what critics called 'Rambo' tactics to disperse thousands of opponents of a contentious rail project.
'I would hope that demonstrations like these would pass off peacefully,' Merkel told public broadcaster SWR after the skirmishes in the southwestern city of Stuttgart on Thursday that raged on into the night.
'This must always be tried, and anything that leads to violence must be avoided.'
Demonstrators said that more than 20,000 protestors, including more than 1,000 schoolchildren, were dispersed by close to 1,000 police in riot gear using water cannons, pepper spray, tear gas and batons.
More than 400 people including minors needed medical treatment, mostly because of the tear gas and pepper spray but also due to broken noses and wrists as well as cuts, demonstrators said..."