The “Welcome to Hell” demonstration against the G20 summit in Hamburg has led to a violent confrontation between police and protesters on the streets of the German city.
The march started off relatively peacefully as activists marched through the streets, chanting slogans and holding banners. It’s not clear who or what exactly triggered the fighting, but several loud bangs were heard, followed by bottles being thrown in the direction of riot police which had assembled nearby.
According to RT’s correspondent on the scene, Peter Oliver, one of the protesters grievances was that they received no clear directives from the police as to where they were allowed to march and so found themselves kettled by officers in riot gear once they took a few steps.
“They are macing everyone,” one witness at the scene told RT. “As far as I could tell, they were attacking the demonstration with no reason.”
“I’m from Hamburg, [and] I’ve never seen anything like this. We’ve had fights about squatted houses and all that, [but] I’ve never seen anything like that. The aggression, as far as I could tell, the purposelessness… my face hurts, I’ve got mace and everything, this is unbelievable.”
After just 150 metres of its intended nine kilometre route the Welcome to Hell protest has been blocked by police, Tagesspiegel reports.
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Police have used four water cannon vehicles to stop the march progressing any further. Marchers are being told by organizers to form human chains and start a sit in.
Police estimate the current number of protesters at 10,000.
Water cannons were deployed by authorities and several people appear to be injured as a number of people have been seen on the ground or with bloody faces being led away by police.