Featured image: Protesters clash with riot police during the protests at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017 (Source: Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters)
Parts of Hamburg are under a blanket of black smoke. G20 protesters in the German city started a huge inferno as the summit of world leaders kicks off.
The summit sessions are now underway, but across the city hordes of protesters blocked streets by staging sit-down demonstrations at key intersections. Streets and bridges leading to the summit were blocked as well as a road used by trucks at Hamburg Port.
Hundreds of left wing anarchists started fires and clashed with police for hours. At least 100 activists are now in custody and almost 200 policemen are injured.
Hamburg law enforcement authorities moved to deploy a range of special forces units in the Schanzenviertel area against “militant persons,” after activists “armed with Molotov cocktails and iron bars” attacked the police.
The officers were “repeatedly subjected to violent attacks,” with stones and bottles being thrown at police lines, authorities said in their latest press release.
After police moved in using “forced means,” violent demonstrators split into smaller groups, with some finding shelter on rooftops of the neighborhood.
The latest statement added that around 500 perpetrators looted a supermarket Altonaerstrasse before setting the premises on fire.
Separately, some 250 activists went on to erect barricades around Schlump, Hamburg’s U-Bahn station area. Several vehicles were also set alight.
“According to the current situation, no further action by militant persons has taken place in the city of Hamburg,” the statement added.
Hamburg police have created a special online portal where authorities are asking the public to upload “original” media files to help identify the perpetrators of crimes committed during the G20 protests.
“We ask all persons who have produced videos or pictures of criminals or criminally relevant events to use the media upload intensively in order to help in the investigation of criminals,” police said.
Speaking to the German broadcaster NDR, a spokesman for the “Welcome to Hell” demo, Andreas Blechschmidt, distanced himself from “senseless violence” and heavy rioting which erupted in Hamburg.
Rioters are setting cars on fire and erecting new barricades in the Altona and St. Pauli areas of Hamburg. Security forces are responding, police said in their latest Twitter message.
In den Bereichen Altona, St. Pauli und Altona werden brennende PKW oder Barrikaden gemeldet. Einsatzkräfte schreiten ein.#G20HAM17
Only 59 people have been “temporarily” detained pending charges. Hamburg police also announced that 14 of the rioters were taken to hospital with injuries.
The police statement added that security forces had ”been massively battered” by the alleged perpetrators.
“We have never experienced such a degree of hatred and violence,” police spokesman, Timo Zill told the Bild Daily Special.
Police said the violence in Hamburg escalated at around 11:02 in the areas of St. Pauli and the Schanzenviertel. Rioters erected and lit the barricades in the Bleicherstraße area where the anti-globalization activists attacked police lines by hurling an assortment of objects at the officers.
Protesters also looted a supermarket, a drugstore, and a financial institution, in addition to various other shops in the center of the German city. Molotov cocktails and gas bottles were thrown into the looted stores.
“At present, the police are using a large range of forces against approximately 1,500 rioters,” police said in a statement.
07 July 2017
Sternschanze quarter, in the center of Hamburg within the Altona borough, has seen numerous looting by small gangs, police said, adding, the tensions “seems to [have] settled down.”
Rund um die #Schanze kommt es zu einzelnen Sachbeschädigungen durch Kleingruppen. Insges. scheint sich die Lage aber zu beruhigen.#G20HAM17
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