July 7, 2017 7:02 pm
Updated: July 7, 2017 8:03 pm

IN PICTURES: G20 protests draw thousands as additional police called in


Anti-globalization activists clashed violently with police across the German port city of Hamburg all day Friday, setting cars ablaze, throwing bottles and trying to enter the convention center where Group of 20 leaders tackled topics like international terrorism, climate change and trade issues.

Anti-G20 protesters throw paper towels into a fire after looting them from a shop in the Hamburg Schanze district following clashes with German riot police in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Responding to a second day of protests, police ordered in more than 900 additional officers from across the country to get the clashes under control. At least 196 police officers were injured, dozens of activists had to be taken to the hospital and more than 70 protesters were detained.

German riot police stand to guard protests during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the violent protests as “unacceptable.”

“I have every understanding for peaceful demonstrations,” Merkel said. “But violent demonstrations endanger human lives, they endanger people themselves, they put police officers and security forces in danger, put residents in danger, and so that is unacceptable.”

READ MORE: G20 Hamburg: Angela Merkel urges world leaders to prepare for compromises

Merkel thanked security forces for their work as the Group of 20 met behind a heavy police presence in a no-go zone that was off-limits to most.

A protester reacts as German riot police use water cannon during a demonstration at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Story continues below

Thousands of officers in full riot gear patrolled as many as 30 different protest marches. Most of the demonstrations were peaceful and creative, but some rioters threw gasoline bombs, iron rods and cobble stones through the city.

As night fell, some lit fires in the streets of the city’s Schanzenviertel neighborhood.

In the nearby St. Pauli district, thousands of people danced in the streets to techno and live hip-hop music as the international leaders of the G-20 nations listened to a classical concert at the city’s philharmonic under heavy police protection.

READ MORE: G20 protests: Why the international summit attracts so much anger

More than 20,000 officers were on hand to guard the Hamburg’s streets, skies and waterways.

Police trucks blasted protesters back with water cannons, and officers physically dragged away a group holding a sit-in at the entrance to the summit grounds after they jeered and yelled at a convoy heading inside.

WATCH: G20 protesters with hands up get sprayed by police water cannon

Violence seemed to be escalating on Friday evening as anti-globalization activists forced their way into a closed train station by bending open the iron gates. Police responded by deploying a water cannon outside the Landungsbruecke station.

Protesters repeatedly tried pushing into the no-go zone — among them a group of 22 swimmers from Greenpeace who tried accessing the area from the Elbe River but didn’t succeed, police said.

Greenpeace activists stay next to the giant statues depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Statue of Liberty during the protest at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Later on Friday, activists also attempted to get near Hamburg’s highly protected philharmonic hall, where international leaders were set to listen to a concert and have dinner together. Greenpeace boats blasted music toward the performance hall to disrupt the leaders’ meeting there.

Police condemned the “shocking criminal energy and high potential of violence” on display and tweeted a photograph of an officer with a bloody wound they said was caused by slingshot catapults.

German riot police detain a protester during the demonstrations during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

While most of the at least 160 injured officers were hurt only slightly, some had to be taken to the hospital, including an officer whose eye was injured when a firework went off in front of him.

The city’s fire department said 11 activists were severely injured and taken to the hospital after falling off a four-meter-tall wall (13 feet) after fleeing from a confrontation with riot police.

Police could not say how many activists were injured in the clashes, but the fire department said that as of Friday morning they had taken 60 protesters to hospitals across the city.

WATCH: G20 protesters shoot off fireworks as fires burn in the streets of Hamburg, Germany

Kathleen Mueller, a 56-year-old protester from Potsdam near Berlin, criticized police for what she said were “brutal responses” to overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations.

Mueller said she’d come to Hamburg to stop rampant consumerism and to tell leaders that “we need to … rethink our economic systems.” She said she saw riot police wrenching apart a peaceful human chain and dragging people off.

“They didn’t have to do that, there was no resistance, it was just to cause pain and it shouldn’t happen,” said Mueller, who was participating in a protest of some 300 people in a park near the summit grounds.

An anti-G20 protester stands in front of a burning street barricade and poses with a flag reading “Captitalism Kills” during with German riot police in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke



© 2017 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.