On the eve of the G20 Summit, which is set to begin Friday, more than 12,000 protesters descended on Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday, joining a “Welcome To Hell” anti-capitalist protest of the summit.
Police used water cannons and helicopters to disrupt the protest and charged at demonstrators leading the march, leading to clashes of violence. At least 15 police were reported injured and three were hospitalized, according to official police statements, but no numbers have been provided for demonstrator injuries.
Protestors began throwing firecrackers and water bottles at police attempting to break up the march, according to CNN. At least one person was arrested for throwing a bottle. Police reported that protesters damaged construction sites, lamp posts, and parked cars.
The protesters were crusading against the summit, but they were also motivated by the arrival of President Donald Trump, who flew into Germany on Thursday to attend the summit.
Police anticipated a protest in the city; more than 20,000 police officers were deployed ahead of the summit, and up to 100,000 protesters are expected to arrive over the weekend to continue demonstrations.
The annual summit draws protests every year. The G20 represents 19 countries and the European Union, which collectively represent 80 percent of the world’s GDP, who meet once a year to negotiate international issues such as economic stability and climate change.
The G20 summit, with closed-door meetings, has attracted ample criticism and attention from activists protesting capitalism, international inequality, and what protestors perceive as a lack of government response to critical issues such as climate change and human rights abuses.
“Seeing 20-21 people making decisions that affect the entire world is not appealing to a lot of people,” said Julia Kulik, who researches global affairs at the University of Toronto.
In 2010, protests against the G20 summit in Toronto spurred the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, with more than 1,000 people jailed for protesting the event. However, not all G20 summits turn violent or result in mass incarceration. According to Kulik, the 2014 summit in Australia attracted relatively little trouble, pointing out that where a summit takes place can affect how prone to violence it will be.
[Featured Image By Alexander Koerner/Getty Images]