Burning Barricades and Police Brutality at Hamburg's G20 Protests
I got soaked by a water cannon covering a weekend of rioting.
All photos via the author.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
As world leaders gathered in Hamburg last week for the G20 summit, an estimated 50,000 protesters brought the city to a standstill with an unwelcoming party cheerfully dubbed "Welcome to Hell." There was a mixture of activist groups: from up-for-anything anarchists dressed in black, to a "blue-block" of Smurfs wanting to "make Trump Smurf again." Protesters were intent on targeting the infrastructure of the city, in particular, the port, in order to "shut down the logistics of capital."
The police tactics were indiscriminately oppressive. They used tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons to disperse the crowds. In retaliation, certain groups headed to richer areas of the city to burn cars after the clashes from the first night. Friday night saw more intense rioting, and some stores were looted in the Schanze district of Hamburg. This allowed Angela Merkel to condemn protesters, saying, "There is no justification for plundering, arson, and brutal attacks on the lives of police officers... anyone who acts in this way places himself outside our democratic community."
VICE journalist Henry Langston was there to cover the protests and make a film. In the process, he got shot in the ass with a water cannon deployed by police, which sucked because he spent the rest of the weekend with wet pants. Despite this, he managed to capture the chaos, which you can see below.