Police Skirmish With Protesters in Hamburg Ahead of G-20 Summit

  • German port city bracing for disruption amid police lockdown
  • As many as 100,000 may gather for a mass rally Saturday

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Hamburg police skirmished with protesters ahead of this week’s Group of 20 summit, days before world leaders gather for the meeting hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Police unleashed water cannon on demonstrators in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district late Monday after activists had set up camps for people gearing up to protest the G-20 meeting on Friday and Saturday, according to organizers. Police on Sunday shuttered a larger camp.

Police use a water cannon during an anti G20 protest in Hamburg, July 4.

Photographer: Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images

As Merkel hosts leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Germany’s second-largest city, organizers are aiming to gather as many as 100,000 anti-capitalist demonstrators for a mass rally on Saturday.

Before that, protest groups will hold demonstrations throughout the city. A group called Block G-20 said it plans to disrupt the summit on Friday by using diversionary tactics -- everything from street theater to dancing -- as they seek to infiltrate the summit meeting, Hamburg’s City Hall and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. Another organization said it will try to shut down commercial activity in Hamburg’s harbor.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Monday that police expect the number of protesters prepared to use violence numbers about 8,000. Some 15,000 armored police drawn from across the country have fanned out across the city to ensure order.

On Thursday, a demonstration called “Welcome to Hell” in St. Pauli, a left-wing hotbed not far from the summit location, will include hundreds of anarchists planning to take to the streets.

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