G20 Protests Police Demonstrators Clash In Germany

G20 Protests Police Demonstrators Clash In Germany

German police have used water cannons, pepper spray to disperse protesters in Hamburg after being attacked with bottles and stones by marchers protesting about the G20 summit. About 76 police officers were injured throughout the evening clashes, with three requiring treatment in hospital.
The pilots of a police helicopter sustained eye injuries because of laser pointers were directed at them. The clashes erupted near the summit venue on Thursday, less than an hour after Chancellor Angela Merkel met US President Donald Trump. Police said they repeatedly asked a group of hardcore anti-capitalist demonstrators to remove their masks to no avail.

They fired water cannons at protesters after they threw bottles and bricks, breaking the window of a police vehicle. A nearby building was plastered with the slogan “Border less solidarity instead of nationalism: attack the G20.”A small group on the roof set off fireworks. Police said windows at a furniture store and a bank were damaged.

There was no immediate word on the number of arrests. Thousands of protesters from around Europe, who say the G20 has failed to solve many of the issues threatening world peace, poured into Hamburg ahead of the talks. Police expect about 100,000 protesters in the port city, some 8,000 of whom are deemed by security forces to be ready to commit violence. Up to 20,000 police officers are on hand.

At least 13,000 protesters joined the main march on Thursday, including about 1,000 black-clad anarchists, police said. “Welcome to hell” was the protesters’ greeting for Mr Trump and other world leaders arriving for the two-day meeting. The chaos tarnished the outset of the meeting Ms Merkel hopes will cement her role as a stateswoman as she seeks re-election in September.

The summit, which starts in full on Friday, is a chance for her to polish her diplomatic credentials but would be disastrous if marred by violence. Ms Merkel has taken a high-risk gamble by choosing to hold the summit in the northern port city of Hamburg, partly to show the world that big protests are tolerated in a healthy democracy.

Before meeting Mr Trump, she struck a consensual tone, holding out hope for agreement on the divisive issue of climate policy and pledging to broker compromises. She pledged to represent German and European interests at the summit, but added: “On the other hand, as hosts we — and I — will do all we can to find compromises.”

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