On Saturday, more than 7,500 people gathered for a protest in Hamburg, Germany. Before long, the protest had turned into a riot. Their beef was against the eviction of the Rote Flora – a left-wing social centre situated in a theatre that has been squatted since 1989. They were also protesting on the behalf of refugees who have made it to the city from Syria, Egypt and Libya via Lampedusa, who they feel should be allowed to stay in the city. Just in case there weren't enough causes for one day, they were also trying to save the Esso houses – some creaky old flats slated for demolition which the residents want to be kept and refurbished. The protesters linked the seemingly disparate causes with the slogan, "The city belongs to everyone! Refugees, Esso Häuser and the Rote Flora are staying!" When they said "everyone", they didn't include the police, with whom they ended up battling long into the night.
Apparently it all started when police interrupted the march after only 50 metres, arguing that the protesters got under way earlier than was planned. The protesters didn't take kindly to this and things kicked off – stones, bottles, street-signs, furniture and pyrotechnics were used as shields and weapons. Almost 3,000 riot cops used water cannons, batons, armoured vehicles and pepper spray. According to paramedics, a lot of demonstrators were injured and had to be taken to hospital, while the cops reported 16 injured among their ranks. Shop windows and car windscreens were put through and demonstrators put up barricades all over the city. They even tore up the roads so that they could use loose stones to throw at the police, which you can't imagine made life any easier for the fire crews who traversed the streets of Hamburg all night, extinguishing flaming barricades.