Clashes at 'Welcome to Hell' Hamburg Demos Ahead of G20 Summit

German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G20 summit in Hamburg on Friday. The leaders of the group of 20 meet Friday and Saturday

Clashes at 'Welcome to Hell' Hamburg Demos Ahead of G20 Summit

Leaders of the world's 20 leading economies met in the German city of Hamburg Friday to discuss the global economy, climate change and the fight against terrorism. The St Pauli football club also offered 200 sleeping places to protesters as "a clear signal for human rights, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate".

At least 76 officers were injured during the clashes, although Hamburg's police force said that majority only suffered light injuries. Later in the day, masked demonstrators put up barricades in the Altona neighbourhood and threw petrol bombs at officers.

The leaders of Thursday's protests ominously titled the demonstrations the "welcome to hell" march, and German media said they believed as many as 8,000 protesters were prepared to engage in violent confrontations throughout the week.

It is believed that more people will join the protest on Friday when the 20 most powerful countries in the world congregate in Hamburg for the summit.

Protesters built makeshift barricades, set vehicles alight, damaged businesses and repeatedly shone a laser at a police helicopter to dazzle its pilot, police said. "They're essentially protesting every single issue that's going to be raised in this G20 summit".

G20-GERMANY  BLOCKADES
German police remove protesters who blocked a street at a demonstration ahead of the summit

Activists have planned days of demonstrations to protest the G20 summit.

As many as 20,000 officers are on the streets of the German city, making it the largest police deployment in the city's history.

The Group of Twenty (G20) is an worldwide forum made up of the world's 20 leading economies - 19 nations and the European Union.

Authorities fired water cannons and used pepper spray to disperse the crowds, Hamburg Police wrote on Twitter.

At least one protester is known to have been seriously hurt, though medics were also seen treating other injured demonstrators. The first face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected Friday.

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