Hamburg counts cost of nights of violence and looting
When world leaders departed at the end of the summit in Hamburg they left behind a city shaken by two nights of rioting, looting and transport chaos. Many residents asked why their government had decided to hold the summit in a city with a strong tradition of counter-cultural protest. Chancellor Angela Merkel said summits had been held in other big cities and Hamburg could not have “shirked responsibility”.
An estimated 50,000 people took part in the biggest of several protest marches in Hamburg last Saturday. It brought peacefully together members of anarchist, socialist, anti-globalisation, green, feminist and Kurdish nationalist groups. However, masked anarchists had torched cars and smashed shop fronts in the Altona district last Friday. Then the action moved to the Schanzenviertel quarter, home to many of the marchers. For hours the 15,000-strong police force appeared to have lost control as rioters built and set fire to barricades, pulled slabs out of the pavement and looted shops. Many were injured and around 100 arrested.