Riot police in Hamburg used water cannons to disperse a large crowd of protesters who had gathered in the city’s parks in anticipation of the G-20 Summit, which will see world leaders – including US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – converge on the city for a two-day summit beginning Friday.
Police are cracking down on protesters, many of whom arrived in the city last week and set up camp, Occupy Wall Street-style, in the city’s parks. While pushing protesters out of the camps, police discovered a cache of weapons carried by the far-left and anarchist demonstrators, including throwing knives, telescopic batons, precision catapults and other items that could be used to cause very serious injury to law enforcement or others.
Clashes occurred Tuesday night in the Neuer Pferdemarkt area, where thousands of activists have been rallying throughout the day, according to Russia Today. At least 15,000 police officers from all of Germany’s federal states are being deployed to ensure public security at the G20 summit.
“We have every German special unit available to the summit,” Hamburg’s police president Ralf Meyer said Tuesday.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office is responsible for protecting the visiting leaders. Demonstrators who arrived early had been given until the start of this week to dismantle their protest camps around the city. Most refused, prompting police to forcefully disperse them.
Police clarified that protest camps are permitted, but protesters cannot stay in them overnight.
Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march in the city this week against globalization and what they say is corporate greed and a failure to tackle climate change, according to Reuters. German authorities believe around 8,000 demonstrators were prepared to use violence, the interior minister said on Tuesday. Some 20,000 police officers will be deployed.
According to Reuters, the Germany army fears protesters will use unarmed drones and that it has deployed a radar to locate any possible aerial intrusions. Earlier Tuesday, protesters dressed as zombies for the "1,000 Figure" march. Video is available below.