G-20 CLASHES leave dozens of po­lice, ac­tivists injured.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - COM­PILED BY DEMO­CRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE RE­PORTS In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by David Ris­ing and Kirsten Grieshaber of The As­so­ci­ated Press and by Melissa Eddy, David Shimer and Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times.

HAM­BURG, Ger­many — Anti-glob­al­iza­tion ac­tivists clashed vi­o­lently with po­lice across the Ger­man port city of Ham­burg all day Fri­day, set­ting cars ablaze, throw­ing bot­tles and try­ing to en­ter the con­ven­tion cen­ter where Group of 20 lead­ers tack­led top­ics such as in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism, cli­mate change and trade.

Re­spond­ing to a sec­ond day of protests, po­lice or­dered in more than 900 ad­di­tional of­fi­cers from across the coun­try to get the clashes un­der con­trol. At least 196 po­lice of­fi­cers were injured, dozens of ac­tivists had to be taken to the hos­pi­tal, and more than 70 pro­test­ers were de­tained.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel con­demned the vi­o­lent protests as “un­ac­cept­able.”

“I have ev­ery un­der­stand­ing for peace­ful demon­stra­tions,” Merkel said. “But vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions en­dan­ger hu­man lives, they en­dan­ger peo­ple them­selves, they put po­lice of­fi­cers and se­cu­rity forces in dan­ger, put res­i­dents in dan­ger, and so that is un­ac­cept­able.”

Merkel thanked se­cu­rity forces for their work as G-20 lead­ers met be­hind a heavy po­lice pres­ence in a no-go zone that was off-lim­its to most.

It started early in the day: There were sit-down protests un­der a rain­bow dis­play of um­brel­las. Stu­dents marched, call­ing for so­cial jus­tice. And some peo­ple took to a fleet of rub­ber boats, de­mand­ing sol­i­dar­ity with refugees.

Pro­test­ers were soon en­gaged in a cat-and-mouse game with po­lice, who lined city streets to block off the ar­eas where gath­er­ings were tak­ing place.

About 350 peo­ple tried to break through one po­lice line, but they were pushed back with pep­per spray and billy clubs, Ham­burg po­lice said.

Thou­sands of of­fi­cers in full riot gear pa­trolled as many as 30 dif­fer­ent protest marches. Most of the demon­stra­tions were peace­ful, but some ri­ot­ers threw gaso­line bombs, iron rods and cob­ble­stones through the city.

As night fell, some lit fires in the streets of the city’s Schanzen­vier­tel neigh­bor­hood.

In the nearby St. Pauli district, thou­sands of peo­ple danced in the streets to techno and live hip-hop mu­sic as the lead­ers of the G-20 na­tions lis­tened to a clas­si­cal con­cert at the city’s phil­har­monic un­der heavy po­lice pro­tec­tion.

More than 20,000 of­fi­cers were on hand to guard Ham­burg’s streets, skies and waterways.

Po­lice trucks blasted pro­test­ers back with wa­ter can­nons, and of­fi­cers dragged away mem­bers of a group hold­ing a sit-in at the en­trance to the sum­mit grounds af­ter they jeered and yelled at a con­voy head­ing in­side.

Anti-glob­al­iza­tion pro­test­ers also kept U.S. first lady Me­la­nia Trump from join­ing the spouses of the other world lead­ers at the sum­mit.

She scrapped a planned boat ride on the Elbe River af­ter po­lice re­fused to al­low her to leave the guest­house where she and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump are stay­ing, cit­ing con­cerns for her safety. A planned tour of a cli­mate re­search fa­cil­ity was also can­celed be­cause the ex­perts who were to give the tour were un­able to get there.

“She was very much look­ing for­ward to the day,” said Stephanie Gr­isham, a spokesman for Me­la­nia Trump.

Vi­o­lence seemed to be es­ca­lat­ing Fri­day evening as anti-glob­al­iza­tion ac­tivists forced their way into a closed train sta­tion by bend­ing open the iron gates. Po­lice re­sponded by de­ploy­ing a wa­ter can­non out­side the Lan­dungs­bruecke sta­tion.

Pro­test­ers re­peat­edly tried push­ing into the no-go zone — among them a group of 22 swim­mers from Green­peace who tried to ac­cess the area from the Elbe River but didn’t suc­ceed, po­lice said.

Later Fri­day, ac­tivists also at­tempted to get near Ham­burg’s highly pro­tected phil­har­monic hall, where the in­ter­na­tional lead­ers were at­tend­ing the con­cert and were to then have din­ner to­gether. Green­peace boats blasted mu­sic to­ward the per­for­mance hall to dis­rupt the lead­ers’ meet­ing.

Po­lice con­demned the “shock­ing crim­i­nal en­ergy and high po­ten­tial of vi­o­lence” on dis­play and tweeted a pho­to­graph of an of­fi­cer with a bloody wound that they said was caused by sling­shot cat­a­pults.

While most of the injured of­fi­cers were hurt only slightly, some had to be taken to the hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing an of­fi­cer whose eye was injured when a fire­work went off in front of him.

The city’s Fire De­part­ment said 11 ac­tivists were se­verely injured and hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter fall­ing off a 13-foot-tall wall af­ter flee­ing from a con­fronta­tion with riot po­lice.

Po­lice could not say how many ac­tivists were injured in the clashes, but the Fire De­part­ment said that as of Fri­day morn­ing it had taken 60 pro­test­ers to hos­pi­tals across the city.

Kath­leen Mueller, a 56-year-old pro­tester from Pots­dam near Ber­lin, crit­i­cized po­lice for what she said were “bru­tal re­sponses” to over­whelm­ingly peace­ful demon­stra­tions.

Mueller said she’d gone to Ham­burg to stop ram­pant con­sumerism and to tell lead­ers that “we need to … re­think our eco­nomic sys­tems.” She said she saw riot po­lice wrench­ing apart a peace­ful hu­man chain and drag­ging peo­ple off.

Ham­burg res­i­dent Kur­sat Bayazit, 42, ex­pressed frus­tra­tions with both the sum­mit and the demon­stra­tions keep­ing him from get­ting to his work as a land­scaper.

“Yes­ter­day, there were big prob­lems,” Bayazit said while tak­ing a stroll with his 2-yearold daugh­ter in the St. Pauli neigh­bor­hood, which had seen heavy clashes Thurs­day night.

How­ever, not all St. Pauli res­i­dents seemed to share Bayazit’s frus­tra­tion re­gard­ing the chaos over­tak­ing Ham­burg dur­ing the G-20 sum­mit.

Few had their stores and homes boarded up and some res­i­dents seemed to wel­come the pro­test­ers. Three young men wear­ing anti-sum­mit T-shirts lis­tened to reg­gae mu­sic on their bal­cony.


Po­lice use wa­ter can­nons to clear pro­test­ers from a road Fri­day in Ham­burg, Ger­many.

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