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Germany: Protesters Demand G-20 Address Humanitarian, Environmental Concerns

Hamburg (TeleSUR– Protests ensue combating social and environmental issues in Hamburg preceding G-20 meeting with world leaders.

Activist groups lead thousands in protests in the German city of Hamburg preceding the July G-20 meeting to demand world leaders confront growing humanitarian and environmental issues.

Almost 100,000 demonstrators are expected to march through the peaceful city of Hamburg this weekend, with more arriving daily until the final day of the meeting July 9.

At the event Sunday, spearheaded by 170 organizations and parties united thousands under the slogans “Solidarity without borders instead of G20”, “Stop Coal”, “Fight Poverty,” demonstrators walked together to protest the meeting of international heads and “global capitalism”.

Protest leaders insist that they were not against the meeting itself, but against the policies push at these summits.

“On July 7 and 8, those politically responsible for this humanitarian and social disaster want to meet in Hamburg,” the call to action reads. “At their annual summit, the heads of the G20 countries talk about ‘fighting the causes for migration,’ but none of the big countries of origin sits at the table. They talk about ‘a partnership with Africa,’ but almost the whole continent is missing.”

Video: EuroNews

According to a German publication, a total of 30 demonstrations have been announced before the end of the summit.

With over 20,000 officers manning the event, demonstrators plans to camp outside the fairground where the G-20 meeting will take place. Municipal authorities erected a special detention facility with a 400 prisoner capacity in case of potential protest violence.

“It will be the biggest operation in the history of Hamburg’s police,” Timo Zell, the Hamburg police spokesman, told AFP.

Image: Flickr – CC – Gareth Foote

However, the most action police have witnessed from demonstrators in the last three days is the army of kayaks and canoes populating Hamburg’s waterway.

Protester are demanding action on a number of social issues including the refugee crisis, climate change, the rise of “racism and open hatred”, and growing inequality in the world.

More than one of these issues is sure to be discussed during the week-long conference, which brings together 20 heads of state from the world’s wealthiest nations, although arriving at consensus let alone action these will be a challenge.

Earlier this week, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel predicted tension between the nations and U.S. President Trump concerning the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change agreement.

“These will not be easy talks,” she said. “The differences are obvious and it would be wrong to pretend they aren’t there. I simply won’t do this,” said Merkel in a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament Thursday.

This post was originally produced for and published by TeleSUR English.

 

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