Aggressive police operation against protest camps and partying crowd

G20 Legal Team, press release #9, July 5th 2017

Due to constant police harassment, the camp in Elbpark Entenwerder was abandoned on the 4th July in favour of several decentralized smaller camps. On the 5th July the Higher Administrative Court finaly decided  to allow „300 additional small tents (maximum 3 persons per tent), as well as a kitchen, toilets and showers, besides the tents that had so far been permitted for organizing the event“. The original request had been for 1500 tents.

In the city, protesters against the G20 summit have built spontaneous camps in several places, whether private, belonging to the church or public. The police harassment against camp activists are still going on. This was for instance the case on the evening of the 4th July. The police cleared the camp in the Emil-Wendt-Park (Gählerpark) using pepper spray. In response, a spontaneous demonstration emerged that was quickly stopped by the police.

Simultaneously to the park appropriation actions by camp activists, in the evening of the 4th July G20 opponents gathered for the „hedonistic cornern“. Joined by many residents from Altona and St-Pauli, the celebration was a signal that nobody would let the police presence in Hamburg intimidate them.

Despite the cheerful atmosphere, an excessively big police detachment was deployed against the partying people. Around 11.00PM The police started to evict the people from the Neue Pferdemarkt, With the help of 6 out of at least 20 water cannons available in Hamburg at the moment. The partying people where pushed towards the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood. Even this excessive police deployement didn’t manage to break the good mood.

The show of force used by the police against both the camps and the partying people shows well the approach that we can await from the police against anti-G20 activists during the next days. The police are trying to prevent through a massive and brutal approach protests against the violent politics of the G20. Nevertheless, several small camps arose during the last few days and thousands of people gathered in different parts of town and appropriated, at least for a certain period of time, the public space.