The annual G-20 summit bringing together nineteen developed and developing countries as well as the European Union has invited unexpected violent clashes in Hamburg, Germany with protesters running rampage throughout the city. As world leaders mulled over tough issues revolving around the contentious Donald Trump, what began as a regular protest against capitalism spiralled into widespread rioting with cars burnt, property damage and both demonstrators and police sustaining injuries – a report put the number of police personnel injured at over 160.
Police tried to break up protesters with batons, pepper spray and water canons, leaving both demonstrators and innocents scampering to avoid the chaos. However, protests and violence unabated.
“Every peaceful protest is welcome,” German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the publication Bild on Friday, “but that is no free pass for unrestrained rampage.”
Meanwhile, there was some hard bargaining with the US contingent over their insistence on the mentioning of fossil fuels in the summit statement. A number of world leaders have been distressed by the US decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. The summit was also the first encounter of the American president with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and reports suggest that they discussed the alleged Russian interference in the US elections last year that put Trump in power. Another highlight was Trump’s meeting with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who is looking to ink new trade agreements with the US and EU after her country’s exit from the bloc last month.
The protests in Hamburg have centred around the presence of Trump and Putin, and the doomed climate treaty. Signs reading “Welcome to hell” and “Death to G20” stained with fake blood were seen in plenty, and at one point, protestors were chased off roofs by police while clashes took place in the streets. German military officers are also being brought in to restore order to the city that now resembles a war zone.