Thousands rally in Germany's Hamburg over looming G20 summit

The gathering outside city hall took place in parallel with protests by canoeists on the nearby river Alster.

Published: 02nd July 2017 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2017 08:31 PM   |  A+A-

Performers wearing masks of (L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump hold a placard reading: 'Better off equal! close the gap between rich and poor' during a demonstration called by several NGOs

By PTI

Thousands of people rallied in Hamburg today to protest at next week's G20 summit, where US President Donald Trump is to make his maiden appearance at the forum of major economies.     

A police spokesman put the turnout at the demonstration -- the first of dozens scheduled in the runup to the summit on Friday and yesterday -- at around 10,000, while the organisers said the figure was far higher.   

The protest was "completely peaceful," the police spokesman told AFP.     

The gathering outside city hall took place in parallel with protests by canoeists on the nearby river Alster, while in the port of Hamburg, Greenpeace staged a climate demonstration near a ship laden with coal.   

The Group of 20 (G20) comprises leaders of the world's major industrialised and emerging economies.   

Hamburg, where summit host Chancellor Angela Merkel was born, is a bustling city that is also an anti-establishment bastion.     

Around 30 protests have been scheduled ahead of the summit, and the organisers are hoping for a total turnout of more than 100,000 people.     

Hamburg is a citadel of leftwing radicals, and the authorities say they are bracing for possible clashes and property damage.     

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, in the Sunday edition of the daily Bild, warned that any violence "should be nipped in the bud".     

"Freedom of assembly is only valid for peaceful demonstrations," he said.     

Around 15,000 police will be deployed to protect the summit, in addition to 3,800 officers monitoring airport and train security

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