Protesters march through Hamburg, Germany ahead of the G20 Summit
Protesters march through Hamburg, Germany ahead of the G20 Summit A4492/_Axel Heimken

G20 protests turn violent

PROTESTERS torched cars and smashed up shops yesterday as an anti- capitalist march ahead of the G20 summit descended into violence, leaving at least 76 police injured.

German riot police fired water cannons and pepper spray at far-left activists after officers were pelted with rocks and flares during the Welcome to Hell rally in Hamburg.

About 12,000 took to the streets to protest against globalisation as world leaders including Donald Trump and Xi Jinping arrived in the city ahead of the summit.

A spokesman for Hamburg's police told AFP that 76 officers were injured and several arrests made.

Cops clashed with black- hooded protesters after they attacked a police vehicle with bottles and bricks, breaking its window.

Violence broke out near the start of the demonstration at a riverside plaza used for Hamburg's weekly fish market. Marchers chanted and waved banners during a stand-off that lasted about 40 minutes.

Cops were attacked with bottles and stones by some marchers after they asked a group of demonstrators to remove their masks.

Organisers quickly called an end to the march after the violence broke out, police said, but skirmishes continued with police as they advanced down the street with two water cannons while being pelted with bottles.

A nearby building was plastered with the slogan "Borderless solidarity instead of nationalism: attack the G-20.”

A small group on the roof set off fireworks and others were seen lighting flares.

Police said windows at a furniture store and a bank were damaged.

There was no immediate word on the number of arrests or injuries.

More than 100,000 protesters are expected in Hamburg for the summit, with some 8000 considered part of Europe's violent left- wing scene, police say.

The northern port city has boosted its police with reinforcements from around the country and has 20,000 officers on hand to patrol Hamburg's streets, skies and waterways.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said leaders would address regulating financial markets, fighting terrorism and pandemics and combating climate change, among other issues.

She said "free, rule-based and fair trade” would be an important issue.

"You can imagine that there will be discussions that will not be easy,” she said.

"Globalisation can be a win-win situation. It must not always be that there are winners and losers.”

The protest came one day after hundreds of activists dressed up like zombies to protest against the G20 summit.



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