Protesters have continued their rallies in the German city of Hamburg against an ongoing G20 summit, setting up burning barricades and vandalizing public and private public properties.
Friday night’s demonstrations were the latest in a series of protests, which began even before the leaders of the world’s biggest economies arrived in Germany’s northern city of Hamburg for their 12th summit that began earlier in the day and will wrap up on Saturday.
An estimated 100,000 protesters filled the streets of Hamburg, but a small portion of them participated in the violent rallies. Some 20,000 police officers are currently on duty over the course of the summit, but the escalating violence prompted Hamburg’s police to call in reinforcements from around the country.
Far-left demonstrators, seeking to wrest control of the streets, hurled flares, rocks and bottles at police, set fire to barricades, ripped up paving stones and even looted shops, creating a situation Hamburg police described as “very serious.” Reports say at least 160 police officers sustained injuries in the violence.
Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the enraged crowds. According to police, a total of at least 85 had been arrested since the protests intensified on Thursday night.
Demonstrators are protesting against a range of issues, including climate change, global wealth inequalities and the presence of US President Donald Trump at the summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already denounced the violence, saying it was “unacceptable” to “put peoples’ lives… [and] the protesters’ own lives in danger.”