General stuff Politics

G20: Hamburg under siege

Back in 2003 I worked for The Wilderness Society, an Australian organization protecting natural areas. As you may imagine, this was a pretty leftish group of people. Wihle I worked there, a WTO meeting took place in Sydney (New South Wales). I ended up coming along to a protest rally. Knowing how such (anti-capitalist) demonstrations ended up in the past, I kept an eye out for the slightest sign of trouble, ready to get the hell out when the unavoidable riots would start. It didn’t take long for me to spot the usual anarchists. And I kept an eye on them.

The most severe misbehaviour I saw: one guy (just a regular joe) dancing like a monkey in front of a car, making fun of the driver. Police acted swiftly, and tapped him on the shoulder, asking him to keep walking. That’s it.

The rest of the protest? A street was occupied (“Reclaim the Streets”) and the police enjoyed a burger at the McDonalds – which was in the same street).

No smokebombs, no watercannons, no molotovs. The only thing flying through the air was a hackey-sack…

I have always wondered why it is that all these protests always end up violent, except in Australia.

Hamburg reminds me that I still haven’t found an answer…


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