Despite Harassment and Delay: ZuG20 on its Way to Hamburg!

Press release #10, G20 Legal Team, July 5th 2017

The special train ZuG20 from Basel to the protests against the G20 summit left the train station on the 5th of July with four hours delay. Out of the 160 people that wanted to use it, 32 were stopped from traveling to Hamburg: 24 people received travel bans and eight missed the train due to deliberately delayed checks by the Swiss and German Police.

The special train was planned to leave Basel on the 5th of July at 2:27 pm via Kornwestheim near Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne and Dortmund to Hamburg. At the German train station in Basel a large police detachment checked the travelers for more than five hours. Due to this harassment the departure was delayed severly. At 6:20 pm the train finally left the station.

The travel bans are a clear criminalization of intent. The authorities banned people from traveling even though they had no criminal record. In the prefabricated decree it states: „Their stay within the federal territory would pose an acute, severe threat to the fundamental interest of society or threaten the public health.“ The lawyer Angela Furmaniak about the bans: „The bullying treatment towards the demonstrators in the train illustrates the police’s questionable treatment of the principles of the rule of law once again. The attempt to prevent protests against the G20 summit with all means necessary is a cause for concern that civil rights might be undermined systematically within the next few days and Hamburg might degenerate to an authoritarian zone.“

The harassment against ZuG20 are in line with the general strategy of the Hamburg police of wearing down the protesters to smother any resistance – even with illicit means. Within the last few days the police tried to stop activists from traveling to Hamburg several times. Be it with preventive custody as in Rostock, with travel bans or with reporting obligations.