The 2017 G20 Hamburg summit is officially over, leaving Germany divided and critical over the various outbreaks of violence during anti-G20 demonstrations, which shook the city over the past week (July 2-10). Although the city seems to be returning to normal daily life, many are now questioning the decision of hosting the international summit in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, with so many divisive heads of states in attendance. Over 100,000 protesters participated in some 30 anti-G-20 protests over the past week, denouncing the gathering of 19 world leaders and two top European Union officials signing deals behind closed doors. Clashes between local police and demonstrators were particularly fierce on Thursday, July 6, and Friday, July 7, when some 1500 anarchists rioted and looted, reportedly attacked police with iron bars and fire bombs. The resort to such radical tactics, as well as the violent response by German police, was largely condemned by other demonstrators and activists who made a point to manifest their disagreement during the massive rally on Saturday, July 9. Despite such turmoil, German officials led by Angela Merkel, continue to defend their decision to host the international economic summit in Hamburg. They argue that the city provided a necessary outlet for demonstrations and further made a point to praise pacific demonstrations while condemning violence and radicalism.
The 12th G20 summit included leaders from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Italy, India, Indonesia, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina, and the European Union (EU).
Despite the seeming calm returning to Hamburg, individuals are advised to remain vigilant and avoid all protests. The city is still placed under increased security presence. Travelers are advised to plan for additional travel time, to carry relevant ID documents, and to anticipate longer wait times at border security posts.
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