Democracy Ends When the Corporate Empires Arrive in Hamburg
By Maxim Nikolenko.
Another G20 Summit is underway in Hamburg Germany. This particular summit of the world’s strongest military and corporate governments was met with widespread protests. Perhaps, it could well be the most vigorous demonstration of public discontent in the history of G20 meetings.
When the mainstream press is covering Trump’s handshake with long-demonized in the West Vladimir Putin, there are few reports made about the major protests, particularly their message.
About 100,000 protesters were expected on the streets of Hamburg during the summit days. Against them stands the army of at least 20,000 security personnel, helicopters, scores of vehicles and widely-used water cannons.
Like always, democracy ends when big business arrives in town.
G20 has been presented as a fair platform, representing about two-thirds of the world population and 86% of the gross domestic product. Yet, the platform facilitates the fundamentalist capitalist system known as neoliberalism. The plutocratic vision of this system provides ground for growing inequality, with a majority of population within the G20 block living in poverty. Member countries such as India, suffer immensely from the corporate policies directed by developed nations and implemented by regional oligarchs. This goes without diving into policies of perpetual war, implemented by Washington and its allies against the people of the “third world.”
Thus, no wonder each G20 summit attracts protests who voice against inequality, denounce war policies, and a laisses-faire market economy.
This year, however, the protests are exceptionally large and clashes are excessively violent.
Violence is depicted in this video published by Ruptly. Protesters construct barricades on the roads, setting some barriers on fire. Meanwhile, a heavily geared army of law enforcement is running on demonstrators, while being showered with bottles and other glass materials. Water cannons are deployed to smash demonstrators from the road. The latest updates on ABC news report 196 injured police officers, with 83 protesters detained and 19 placed into custody.
There are no exact figures found on the number of injured protesters. Yet, the number is definitely high, most certainly exceeding that of injured police.
A running wall of police left injured demonstrators on the ground in this video. Some people are beaten or violently dragged. The victims don’t wear masks nor seem to be armed.
The next video extends the depicted trend.
People sustained injuries during a march held in solidarity with the Syrian Kurds. The footage displays women receiving treatment by fellow marchers. Ones again unmasked and seemingly unarmed demonstrators came under attack.
The following video captures the magnitude of street battles.
Protesters are systematically divided and removed by the organized police lines. Water cannons block the road, spraying demonstrators on the sides. Most vicious moments of clashes are depicted at (4:49), (5:24), and (17:13). Police come under the shower of objects thrown by protesters, while some demonstrators are violently beaten, likely sustaining injuries.
Violent arrests are made.
The men arrested look similar to the most reactionary elements of the protest, with uniform displaying traits of those worn by members of Black Bloc
No one stopped masked provocateurs from causing chaos on this street in Hamburg.
Police seemed absent when the radicals rioted private properties.
No one stopped the unknown groups from setting a number of vehicles on fire.
Questions remain whether similar reactionary forces bare responsibility this incident.
Nonetheless, most attendees to the protest are peaceful, without black uniform and masks. They carry signs and seen in a festive mood.
Police still rains them with water cannons.
In the meantime, a video of kissing couple facing off with police vehicles has gained traction on the internet.
Soon after the kiss, a couple is sprayed with water cannons. Other demonstrators are seen fighting to stay on the road. One woman displays a human shield, preventing the vehicle from moving forward. She was joined by another demonstrator. They are directly showered with two water cannons.
It is early to evaluate the full impact of the protests. More demonstrations are expected today, on the last day of the summit. So far, certain elements of protest have been depicted causing violence. The majority, however, remained peacefully, while receiving injuries from violent offensives conducted by police. An agenda of forcefully removing protests is vivid.
Next G20 Summit will be hosted in Argentina. The government in Buenos Aires is widely criticized for implementing radically neoliberal reforms. These reforms have increased the wealth of top billionaires, and poverty experienced by a sizable percentage of population.
Only time will show the magnitude of demonstrations during the upcoming summit in 2018.