G20 Hamburg Summit: 'More of a civil war than festival of democracy'
Right before G20 leaders are due to hold their summit in Hamburg, the German city is engulfed in protests. The German interior minister said 8,000 violent protesters are expected to take part in rallies.
Hamburg police have made preparations for the summit. Twenty thousand officers will be deployed and two special security zones have been set up in the city.
RT: Why are people so angry about the G20 gathering?
Bruno Kramm: This has been a long tradition, as you might know. During all the G20 summits there have always been massive protests wherever they were happening. There are movements, like Attack, which was founded because of G20. We live in times of globalization where we can see everywhere a growing nationalism, and international corporations are extremely important. Instead of discussing these things, people are starving around the world; climate change is affecting more, and more people are running away from their homes as refugees. There are so many wars and so many weapon exports from the richer countries. So far, this globalism is only working with neoliberal elements, while the people are asking for more participation and for more change which affects their normal lives. This is about solidarity mainly.
RT: Activists have created a special platform called 'Welcome to Hell,' the slogan under which their demonstrations are taking place. Do you think the protests will be equally as violent?
BK: The protesters get more professional and use all the channels of social networks, use more campaigning methods. It might become much more radical because the police are making a huge mistake by escalating everything quite at the beginning, and showing a really hard line. And this is basically what the protesters are not accepting. We have freedom of speech in our country, and we have the right to demonstrate together, to express our unhappiness with the current situation. This is what people do. Of course, this year a lot of protesters are coming from all over Europe. And this is also an expression of a total imbalance inside of Europe where there are many countries who are terribly suffering – look at Greece, look at Spain – because of European neoliberal economic politics which is driven mostly because of Germany. So, we have to eat this soup.
Most of the protesters are young, and they cannot afford the expensive hotel prices of Hamburg. Nobody was thinking about that. Suddenly it’s not allowed for them to overnight in their tents, and without any reason, they took away the demonstrators and their right to be in this park. Basically, this is an escalation that will definitely lead into the wrong direction.
‘G20 festival of democracy denied’
RT: The police have dispersed the protest camp. But will the protesters be back?
Prinz Chaos, musician, activist and journalist: The highlight of the protests will be on the weekend obviously. And we are now seeing a very high level of escalation very early on. The Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, has promised a ‘festival of democracy’ around the G20 summit and it doesn’t quite look like it. Seventy-five percent of people in Hamburg have been against the whole summit from the beginning, being scared of all the trouble that goes with it. Now we really see it is a state of emergency all over the city … It looks like a civil war situation much more than a festival of democracy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.