Police Repression at ASEM Protest in Hamburg

imc-g8 29.05.2007 13:29 Themen: G8 Heiligendamm Globalisierung

At least 5,000 people gathered on the streets of Hamburg on Monday, 28 May, to protest against the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). There was a massive police presence (almost outnumbered protesters!) and the march was surrounded by thick riot police lines. The procession was repeatedly stopped and provoked by cops, while snatch squads and other units tried to penetrate the mass. Water cannons, pepper spray, kicks and punches were used repeatedly. So the organisers eventually decided to call the demonstration off and participants then dispersed in small groups. A large part of the demonstration, however, was 'kettled' by police while others were 'hunted down' as they headed back to the Rota Flora social centre. At least 86 people were arrested, some still detained.

Complete Timeline (de) | Reports: 1 | 2 | Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Audio

Following mass mobilisation and a court appeal regarding the legality and route of the demo, anti-capitalist protesters from all over the world, on their way to the G8, stopped in Hamburg to protest against the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting, an inter-regional forum consisting of the European Commission and the 27 members of the EU and the 14 members of the ASEAN Plus Three regional grouping. The the so-called 'three pillars' of the ASEM are: political dialogue; security and economy; and education and culture.

The demonstration started around mid-day at Millerntorplatz , moved on along Reeperbahn, St. Pauli Fischmarkt, Hafenstraße, Baumwall to the Rödingsmarkt. Reports estimated that between 4 and 6 thousand people took part, with over 1,000 "black bloc" anarchists leading the march.

Following the High Court appeal against the police changing the route of the march, the registered route was partly approved. Yet, the demonstration was 'accompanied' by a large police cordon. The police presence was so large that cops almost outnumbered protesters.

The the procession was repeatedly stopped and provoked by police for no reason. Snatch squads and other units tried to penetrate the mass but were resisted by Black Bloc linking arms. Cops also used pepper spray, and later water cannons, to stop the march, as well as attacking people with kicks and punches. According to the Media G8way press group, a correspondent of free radio station Kombinat Hamburg was punched in the face. One demonstrator was told that the reason for the assault on him was because "he took a photo of a police officer." A few people were reportedly arrested while, in response, fireworks were shot several times.

Throughout the march, 'sound vans' made announcements to keep people informed about what was happening, while also playing enthusiastic music to 'pump up' protesters. There were also occasional stops for speeches.

Fed up with continuous provocation by cops and the altered route along empty streets, the demo organisers finally decided to end the march early as a "protest against police tactics". People began to disperse in small groups but police blocked the street. People tried to break through, then eventually sat in middle of the street. Others fled through gaps in the police 'kettle'. Several more arrests were made.

Many people headed back to the Rota Flora social centre. Eventually, hundreds built barricades outside. Hundreds of cops came too and this led to several hours of minor confrontation and some thrown objects and cops blocking streets. The police blasted with their water cannon tanks. By 8pm the situation was 'calm' again.

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water cannons...

129a 29.05.2007 - 13:56
... were not used during the demonstration, but afterwards at the Millerntor and Schanzenviertel/Rote Flora. I believe the same can be said about pepper spray (although I´m not quite sure).

police at the infoshop schwarzmarkt

name 29.05.2007 - 14:41
around 10 minutes ago civil police entered the infoshop schwarzmarkt in hamburg and took around 8 people out. right now they are no longer in the infoshop. a prisoner-transport arrived some minutes ago, so it seems like they plan to take some people with them. around the squat rote flora are civil cops observing who is going in and out, so watch out!

pepper spray

xxx 29.05.2007 - 17:25
during the demonstration pepper spray was used by the cops while the demonstrants were walking the Hafenstrasse