Assembling and protesting against deplorable policies are universal rights.
Not in Hamburg, Germany at the G20. On Thursday, as leaders were arriving for July 7 and 8 talks, tens of thousands of largely peaceful demonstrators took to the streets.
Things weren’t calm for long. Police blocked them from marching through the city as planned. Violence its ranks provoked erupted, turning Hamburg into a battleground, using tear gas, water cannons and batons as weapons. Numerous arrests and injuries were reported.
Under the slogan “Welcome to Hell,” dozens more protests are planned on Friday and Saturday.
Demonstrators oppose what G20 leaders support, including predatory capitalism, globalization adversing affecting billions worldwide, neoliberal harshness, ecocide, and endless wars of aggression, among other issues.
Days ahead of the summit, a NoG20 International Coordination press release headlined “They Are Defending the Indefensible in Hamburg. We Want to Protest Without Borders,” saying:
“The politics of the G20 are repugnant to the vast majority of people” everywhere…(W)e stand for…democracy and human rights, economic sustainability and peace…rejection of racism and sexism.”
Policies Trump and others like him stand for “and the world they want come at our expense.”
“The politics of neoliberalism, (forced-fed austerity) and (endless) war(s) is decided in the heart of our cities, closed off to citizens, protected by a militarized police force and backed up by the suspension of political rights.”
“This shutting-down of democracy has one purpose only: to defend the indefensible. Our demonstrations speak for and of a different world.”
German officials established a 15-square-mile no protest zone to keep demonstrators distant from G20 leaders. Hamburg residents and thousands from elsewhere in Germany and abroad came to protest against the abhorrent kind of world most of these leaders support.
Germany’s Basic (constitutional) Law mandates human dignity and rights and personal freedoms, freedom of faith and conscience, freedom of expression, along with freedom of assembly, association, movement and other rights.
German authorities suspended these and other rights in Hamburg, substituting state-sponsored street violence, largely affecting peaceful demonstrators.
Ahead of and during G20 talks, the city is occupied territory, the rights of its residents and demonstrators denied, enforced by police state harshness.