Today—July 6, the first day of an international mobilization against the 2017 G20 summit in Germany—we will be posting continuous live updates, providing firsthand reports and analysis of the events in Hamburg. Tune in to crimethinc.com starting at 4 pm Central European Time (10 am Eastern Standard Time), the start time of the “G20: Welcome to Hell” demonstration, for continuous updates running late into the night and resuming on Friday if all goes well.
We welcome field reports, footage, and updates. Send them to us at G20@crimethinc.com—we’ll sift through them, fact-check them, and blast them out into the world.
The first urban clashes ahead of the G20 summit broke out in downtown Hamburg on Tuesday, July 4. Organizers had attempted to establish a campsite for out-of-town demonstrators in Enterwerder Park, but despite receiving permission from the highest court in the land, police blocked access to the park, then carried out a brutal raid, with the police president declaring “On the streets of Hamburg, we are the sole authority.” In response, demonstrators fanned out into Hamburg, occupying several more parks and other venues. After police raided one of these additional camps, a spontaneous march took the streets, ultimately precipitating confrontations between large crowds that blocked some of Hamburg’s main thoroughfares while armored water cannons and troops of riot police attacked them.
Walking through downtown Hamburg as the clashes died down, one could see “NO G20” graffiti everywhere. Stores that one would otherwise not suspect of anti-capitalist sentiments prominently displayed signs proclaiming “NO G20: Spare Our Shop!” In one small park in the midst of a gentrifying bar district, demonstrators gathered around a fire in the middle of the city, surrounded by tents and banners expressing opposition to the G20 and to capitalism in general. Despite the riot vans parked by the dozen at every intersection, despite the companies of riot police marching huffily back and forth, no amount of coercive violence could legitimize the G20 or the kind of policing required to force capitalism on an increasingly restless population. Something has to give.