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ASEM-G8 Protest in Hamburg

5,000 people march in Hamburg against the ASEM and G8

Energy to protest the G8 grows with preperatory march in Hamburg. Today there was a large march Against the European Union economics ministers and Asian economics ministers from ASEM.

The march gathered at 12:00 and police were all around. The march was permitted and had been organized by the Autonomen or radical "black block" style activists. There had been good work with other groups and thousands of other people came as well. When the route was all settled with police the march started. Sound vans made constant announcements and kept us informed about what was happening. They also played music to get us pumped up.

The march had 4,000-6,0000 participants and there were up to 5,000 cops. So the odds were not good of getting away with much. The march was surrounded on all side by a wall at least two thick of riot police. Dozens of water cannon tanks and armored personnel carries with bulldozer blades stood by.

The march was led by a "black block" of over 1,000. In Germany it is illegal to cover your face but everyone dressed in black with hoods, hats and sunglasses.

Police controlled the rate of the march but the marchers jumped and ran for bits and had fun. Several times flares or fireworks were shot up. At one point police tried to squeeze the march and were resisted. They peppersprayed the crowd on a street called Peper-something. The march continued and was stopped by water cannons in the road several times but then went on again. There were also stops for speeches.

The organizers finally decided to end the march early as a protest of police tactics. There had been arrests and other harassment. The march began to disperse but cops blocked the street. People tried to break through then eventually sat in the street. Others left through spaces at the sides. Several more arrests were made.

Many people headed back to the Rota Flora social center. Eventually hundreds outside built barricades. Hundreds of cops came and this led to several hours of minor barricades and some thrown objects and cops blocking streets. The police blasted with their water cannon tanks. By 8:00 the situation was calm again it seems.

Indymedia timeline: http://de.indymedia.org/2007/05/178833.shtml

mainstream German news with pictures: http://www1.ndr.de/nachrichten/asem/asembilder2_org-asemindex2.html