Hamburg residents hide in fear of G20 protesters
Residents in Hamburg, Germany were anxious ahead of clashes between protesters and police during the G20 meeting. Some 76 police officers have been injured, a spokesman for Hamburg's police told AFP.
Published: July 7, 2017, 12:26 pm
Armored police trucks formed extended barricades in the area where the summit was being held and riot police officers took up positions on the streets, as radical protesters attacked police in various places in Altona and St Pauli, damaging private property, police reported. Together with armoured vehicles and helicopters, surveillance drones were also deployed.
Masked protesters have damaged cars and building sites, while breaking in the windows of banks and the district court in Altona, according to police sources. Hamburg police have warned residents to stay away from Germany’s second city where presidents Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will meet on Friday.
“Everyone is afraid, the roads are closed — it is really hard and horrifying,” Sabine Kühl, a designer who lives in Hamburg told the New York Times. “It’s the small group of violent demonstrators who wear masks, who are anonymous, that cause problems. They’re why I’m staying home from work tomorrow. I don’t want to wander into a dangerous situation they create.”
— Polizei Hamburg (@PolizeiHamburg) July 6, 2017
Police discovered a weapons cache after they evicted protesters who had gathered in a public park in Hamburg. Der Spiegel reported that the country’s defense ministry has asked soldiers who are on duty this weekend not to wear their uniforms for their own safety. “Soldiers in uniform who are moving around the city during the announced protests could be the target of spontaneous attacks by violent left-wing extremist protesters,” according to an internal memo from the defense ministry.
One of the two marches which was allowed to proceed in Hamburg against the G20 meeting, has been blocked by German police because participants were wearing black masks. Police reminded people on Twitter that wearing such masks at a protest contravened German law.
German authorities confirmed that a demonstration dubbed “Welcome to Hell” erupted in violence shortly after it began, but German press agency DPA could not give an indication of how many officers had been injured.
The main “Welcome to Hell” march was then called off but thousands of demonstrators engaged in smaller skirmishes during the night, AFP correspondents said.
At least a hundred thousand protesters are expected, with 20 000 police on standby. A holding centre for detainees has been set up for 400 people.
On Thursday the left-wing newspaper Neues Deutschland also reported that a new march had started.
— neues deutschland (@ndaktuell) July 6, 2017
DPA reported a “ghostly silence” hanging over the city centre of Hamburg before the start of the summit, with shops and offices having closed down and boarded up windows in anticipation of street violence. On Mönckebergstraße, a busy shopping street, a third of the businesses had boarded up their shop fronts.
Those who can afford it have even invested in fire protective wood. Some shops in the left-wing Schanzenviertel were open, but they all displayed anti-G20 stickers in their windows.
Ten Porsches were set on fire at a luxury car dealership in the Hamburg district of Eidelstedt on Wednesday evening, by suspected anti-G20 protesters.
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