Over 150 police officers have been injured in the anti-globalization protests taking place in Hamburg.
Protestors always show up when there is a G-20 meeting, but the violence in Hamburg has been worse than expected. As I wrote in a previous article, there is a lot of attention focused on this particular meeting because you have Trump and Putin meeting face-to-face for the first time.
Hundreds of people participated in the anti-capitalist “Welcome to Hell” march on Thursday, where protestors covered themselves in gray clay and shambled through the streets like zombies. When they reached Central Square, they removed their outer layers to reveal naked bodies or bright clothing beneath.
Protests turned violence later in the day, with crimes including:
• Shooting fireworks at a police helicopter
• Breaking windows at the Mongolian consulate
• Lighting cars, trash cans, and barricades on fire
• Slashing tires of cars belonging to the Canadian delegation
• Firebombing a local police station
Police have been forced to use water cannons and tear gas to quell the violence. More than 40 people have been arrested and at least three police officers have been hospitalized. The violence was such that Melania Trump was prevented from leaving her guest house Friday morning.
About 20,000 police officers are on duty throughout the summit. Reinforcements were called in on Thursday as the situation started to deteriorate.
“We’ve asked for a few hundred more police officers…the potential for criminal energy and violence of some is shocking,” said Andy Grote, Hamburg’s interior senator.
Police were successful in preventing protestors from entering the “no-go zone” surrounding the city’s convention center, and all G-20 leaders were able to get inside safely.
Founded in 1999, the Group of 20 (G-20) is a council of wealthy nations designed to promote international financial stability and to discuss global issues like climate change.
The group has held annual meetings since 2011. This week’s meeting will focus on topics like terrorism, migration, financial markets, and pandemics.
“Free, rule-based and fair trade” will be a central issue, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Globalization can be a win-win solution. It must not always be that there are winners and losers.”
G-20 is made up of leaders from the following countries (plus the EU): Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United States, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea.
G-20 countries make up 80% of the global GDP and represent about two-thirds of the world’s population.