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Hamburg Braces for More G-20 Protests

  • VOA News

Protesters shout during a rally against the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017.

Hamburg is facing another day of anti-globalization protests Saturday as leaders from the world's 20 largest economies meet for the final day of the G-20 Summit in Germany.

After a pre-dawn riot Saturday, Hamburg police arrested at least 13 people. Later, Greenpeace environmental activists hung a banner from a Hamburg bridge near the summit that read - "G-20: End Coal."

Media reports say a major protest is expected Saturday afternoon. The group “Hamburg Pushes Back” says it is expecting 30,000 people for a demonstration at the city harbor.

Dozens injured

Protesters clashed violently Friday with police, causing injuries to nearly 200 police officers and dozens of activists.

Police say they brought more than 900 additional officers from across the country to help control the situation, bringing the total number of police in the city to more than 20,000.

A man, sitting on the ground, gestures as police officers approach during a protest against the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.
A man, sitting on the ground, gestures as police officers approach during a protest against the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.

Officers patrolled dozens of protest marches and while most demonstrators were peaceful, others set cars on fire, threw bottles at police, and tried to enter the convention center where leaders were meeting.

Some protesters threw gasoline bombs, lit fires in the streets, and looted businesses.

‘Unacceptable’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the protests were "unacceptable."

"I have every understanding for peaceful demonstrations but violent demonstrations put human lives in danger," she said.

More than 70 protesters were detained. Police used water cannons to push back protesters, including outside a closed metro station where protesters bent iron gates to force their way inside.

Violent protesters often tried to enter closed-off areas surrounding the summit venues.

A group of 22 swimmers from Greenpeace tried to reach a concert hall on the Elbe River where world leaders gathered in the evening for a concert. They were intercepted by marine divers.

Damage is seen on a street after demonstrations at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017.
Damage is seen on a street after demonstrations at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017.

Greenpeace boats also blasted music outside the concert hall in an attempt to disrupt the concert and the leaders’ dinner meetings.

US first lady briefly trapped

Anti-globalization protesters trapped U.S. first lady Melania Trump in her hotel, keeping her from joining the spouses of the other world leaders on a tour of Hamburg harbor.

Officials say most of the injured police were not badly hurt, but some were taken to the hospital, including an officer who was injured when a firework went off in front of him. Fire officials say at least 60 protesters were taken to hospitals, including 11 who jumped off a four-meter wall while fleeing from police.

Police say the majority of the estimated 100,000 demonstrators were peaceful, while around 1,000 militant protesters caused much of the damage.

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