G20 summit in Osaka and trade wars

This 23 June 2019 video from Japan says about itself:

Hundreds of Japanese protesters descended on the streets to demonstrate against the 14th meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) in Osaka on Sunday. The protest was reportedly organised as part of the so-called G20 Osaka No! Action Week.

Demonstrators marched through the streets, carrying banners reading “G20 no welcome” and “No G20“, among others.

The G20 is an international forum where governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies meet to share their opinions on the global situation. The 2019 G20 summit will be held on June 28 and 29 at Osaka’s International Exhibition Centre.

Security measures have been ramped up in Osaka this week, with some 32,000 police officers deployed to the city for the summit.

By Andre Damon in the USA:

The G20 Summit in Osaka: The war of all against all

29 June 2019

World leaders gathered in Osaka, Japan Friday for the G20 summit amid the relentless promotion of trade war, protectionism, and militarism.

The climate at the G20, formed to coordinate an international and multilateral response to a series of global financial crises in the late 1990s, could be described with the phrase coined by Thomas Hobbes: Bellum omnium contra omnes ( “the war of all against all”).

The divisions, Bloomberg reports, “extend well beyond the familiar sticking points of steel, environment and trade.” The report added, “One person involved in the process said that the ability to compromise had virtually dropped to zero.

“Another person participating in the drafting said that so many accords had been broken unilaterally that they had begun to lose meaning.” Bloomberg concluded, “A U.S. official involved in the process simply called the final communique a waste of time.”

Since the G20 dropped the call to “resist all forms of protectionism” from its final communique in March of 2017, the White House has launched a trade war against China and threatened one against the European Union, while demanding that its allies, including Japan and NATO, pay up for American military protection.

The growth of trade war and military threats kicked into high gear following the last G20 summit in Buenos Aires in December:

• On February 2, the United States officially suspended its compliance with the INF treaty with Russia, moving to rapidly encircle both Russia and China with nuclear-capable medium range missiles.

• On May 10, the White House more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

• On May 15, Trump signed an executive order barring US telecommunications companies from selling components to Huawei, China’s leading telecommunications company and the world’s second-largest smartphone maker. In response, Xi called on China to begin a “new long march” in a struggle against the United States.

• On June 11, the [United States] Department of Defense published, then took offline, an official doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons that all but urged the use of nuclear weapons, declaring that “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability.”

• On June 20, the Trump administration authorized, then abruptly cancelled, a series of air and missile strikes against Iran.

• The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on European companies who do business with Iran, and against Germany if it goes ahead with plans to purchase natural gas from Russia via the Nord Stream II pipeline.

• Beyond these conflicts, the United States is attempting to overthrow the government of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela, has threatened to withhold F-35 fighters from Turkey amid a dispute over missile defense systems and has revoked special trade benefits extended to India amid a dispute ranging from trade to military technology.

In all of the members of the G20, the eruption of trade war and protectionism has corresponded to an outpouring of nationalism, xenophobia, and antirefugee policies. When Russian President Vladimir Putin declared ahead of the summit that the “liberal idea”, which he identified with multiculturalism and openness toward foreigners, has “become obsolete”, he was roundly condemned by leading Western newspapers and politicians.

But detestable as Putin’s remarks were, his statements reflect the dominant political trends operating in every country. In Germany, the Grand Coalition government, under “Mutti” Angela Merkel has set up concentration camps for refugees while fascist bands, operating with the protection of the state, draw up “kill lists” of their political opponents.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron has praised the Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain, while in the United States, the Democrats last week passed a $5 billion appropriations package giving Trump a blank check to expand his refugee concentration camps, carry out mass immigration roundups and effectively end the right to asylum.

Trump’s “opposition” in the Democratic Party has spent the week leading up to the summit denouncing the fascist-minded resident of the White House for not taking a hard enough line against China.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York declared Trump “cannot go soft now and accept a bad deal that falls short of reforming China’s rapacious economic policies—cyber espionage, forced technology transfers, state-sponsorship, and worst of all, denial of market access.”

Commenting on these remarks, the Wall Street Journal observed that Trump faces “many Democratic presidential candidates willing to pummel him if he accepts what is seen as a weak deal with China.” It added, “at Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debate, four of 10 candidates picked China as the greatest threat facing the U.S.”

In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election as president, he was proclaimed by newspaper columnists and foreign policy commentators as an accidental figure or an aberration in an otherwise healthy “liberal world order.”

But in the subsequent two and a half years, it has become clear that Trump is merely the foremost expression of a general international process: the turn by all factions of the ruling elite, in every country, to trade war, protectionism, military conflict, xenophobia and authoritarianism amid the breakdown of the postwar geopolitical order.

These developments confirm the analysis made by the International Committee that all those who proclaimed in the period before the 2008 financial crisis, a new golden age of capitalist cooperation “are placing heavy bets against the lessons of history.”

Instead, every global development since the outbreak of the financial crisis has confirmed the analysis of the great Marxists of the past two hundred years, that capitalism tends inexorably toward social inequality, war and dictatorship.

Amid the rising geo-political tensions on display at last weekend’s G20 meeting in Tokyo, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison sought to manoeuvre between the United States, Australia’s longstanding ally, and China, its largest trading partner. Trump, however, made clear that he expected Morrison and the Australian government to line up with the US in its confrontations on all fronts—in particular against Iran and China: here.

The Trump Administration announced on October 2 that it would impose $7.5 billion in punitive tariffs on European Union exports to America, based on a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against EU subsidies to Airbus. After Washington imposed $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese exports and a 25 percent tariff on EU steel last year, to which China and the EU replied with billions in retaliatory tariffs, this new move sets the world’s major economies on a course to all-out trade war: here.

G20 summit police state in Argentina

This video says about itself:

G20 protests take over Buenos Aires streets

Protesters and demonstrators took to the streets of Argentina’s capital on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, as the world’s top leaders meet in Buenos Aires to address global issues, including trade, human rights, climate change and migration.

By Rafael Azul:

Police repression in Buenos Aires for G20: a dress rehearsal for dictatorship

1 December 2018

As the presidents of the Group of 20 nations (G20), representing the world’s top economies, were preparing to travel to their 13th economic summit in Buenos Aires, this weekend, Argentine authorities were in the process of rounding up and forcibly expelling homeless families who reside in downtown Buenos Aires.

The violent expulsion of the homeless has been accompanied by naked repression and the suppression of democratic rights. Buenos Aires and federal officials are using the G20 meeting as a dress rehearsal for police-state measures appropriate to a military dictatorship.

Página 12, a Buenos Aires daily, quoted Martín, a 19-year-old homeless resident who told a reporter from the Telam press agency, “They are closing the neighborhood because of the G20.” Martín, his 18-year-old companion and their baby were expelled together with all the homeless who sleep in the parks and doorways of the city center. “We moved here six months ago because we could not afford to pay rent anyplace,” declared the youth, who works gathering and recycling paper and cardboard discarded by downtown offices. “I earn enough to eat, but not enough to pay for even a tiny room,” he added. Non-governmental organizations estimate that 7,300 homeless now live in the city of Buenos Aires, a 30 percent increase over 2017.

The removal of the homeless is part of an operation by Federal police and security forces who erected a perimeter around government buildings in Buenos Aires city center in anticipation of mass protests.

More than one thousand homeless live in the targeted zone. “Government workers came by and told us that because of the visit of the presidents, we would have to leave,” said Sergio, a single dad who with his four children occupies two mattresses in Plaza de Mayo square, across from Argentina’s Government House.

Among the leaders arriving for the summit was Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was given a warm welcome Thursday morning by Argentina’s foreign minister Marcelo Fauri; the prince, with an entourage of over 1,000 men, was among the first to arrive.

There is a pending demand by Human Rights Watch in the Argentine courts for the arrest of the Saudi prince for war crimes in Yemen involving “indiscriminate air raids aimed against civilians” and for the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; none expect that this protégé of Trump and imperialism will be detained during his two days in Buenos Aires.

In Argentina there is increasing mass opposition to the austerity policies imposed by the administration of President Mauricio Macri in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund. The measures demanded by the IMF to rescue the Argentine economy require dictatorial policies.

The G20 summit is taking place under the most repressive conditions in Argentine history. Throughout the week, thousands of police placed barriers and established three concentric security zones. Twenty thousand gendarmes are in place in addition to the five thousand police assigned as personal guards to the summit delegates.

City authorities declared that this Friday, the opening day of the summit, would be a no-work holiday and advised residents to leave the city. Subway lines and metropolitan rail service have been suspended. All domestic flights into Buenos Aires have been cancelled. Auto traffic was re-routed around the security perimeter.

A 460-kilometer circumference air traffic exclusion zone was imposed over Buenos Aires, presumably including the La Plata River and part of Uruguay, further restricting flights. Buenos Aires is truly a city under siege. President Macri has threatened to shoot down airplanes flying overhead.

While the immediate target of the massive security apparatus may be a protest march on Congress repudiating the G20 summit and the agreement between Macri and the IMF—organized by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and dozens of civil rights organizations—the real target is the repudiation by the working class and large sections of the middle class of the Macri government, its neo-liberal and corrupt policies and its prostration to imperialism.

Throughout this week there have been mass rallies and protest marches by workers and students in the context of a collapsing dollar, ever increasing prices, job cuts and increasing misery. Industrial production in Argentina is now at the same level that it was in 2002, during the last financial and debt crisis.

The series of demonstrations have been met with police repression that in the last week resulted in two deaths and many wounded.

In a police station in Esteban Echeverría, eight people in “preventive detention” were left to die when a fire took place and police officers abandoned the prisoners.

Police used rubber bullets against protesters occupying vacant land in the town of Jose Leon Suarez, wounding several.

On November 22, a member of the Federation of the Workers of the People’s Economy (CTEP), Rodolfo Orellana, was killed by police during an attempted eviction.

In the city of Cordoba, labor activist Marcos Jesús Soria was beaten and killed by government security agents. According to CTEP, Soria, after being beaten, attempted to hide in a horse stable, but was shot in the back by the police who then threatened eye-witnesses to the crime, ordering them not to reveal what had happened.

A CTEP communiqué condemned the “hunting down of activists in the context of increasing repression by the government of Mauricio Macri and his Security Minister, Patricia Bullrich.”

The police repression extends to strikes and occupations. Last week police violently ended an occupation by workers at a factory of consumer durables, Siam, injuring workers and their supporters. In each of these cases the security forces have acted with total impunity.

Officials in charge of security have warned that they will strongly repress any incidents considered violent, that police will not stand idly by and will react against any act that it considers provocative. The latest turn of the screw authorizes police forces to use live ammunition against demonstrators.

This police-state response in the context of the G20 summit and the far broader social struggles gripping Argentina represents an abrogation of the democratic right to assemble and protest and the adoption of dictatorial forms of rule.

G20 papers over differences as economic conflicts intensify: here.

German, Turkish NATO governments censor G20 journalists

This 6 July 2017 video is called Germany: Journalist knocked down by police officer during G20 protests, Hamburg.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Consternation in German press about locking journalists out of G20 summit

Today, 17:56

At the G20 summit in Hamburg last week, the admission certificates of 32 journalists were annulled. Four of them have worked in Kurdish areas in southeastern Turkey in the past. The German press suspects that Turkey has put pressure on the German government to prevent journalists from getting access to the G20.

The journalists’ accreditations were taken away without giving reasons. A photographer of the magazine Der Spiegel had collected his accreditation on Wednesday but was no longer admitted to the conference center in Hamburg on Friday.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert claimed that the decision was taken only on the basis of German intelligence. NOS correspondent Jeroen Wollaars says that Seibert is always believed uncritically by the German media. It is remarkable that this is not the case now.


The journalists Chris Grodotzki and Björn Kietzmann went to the press with their story. They worked together near Diyarbakir in Southeast Turkey, where they had taken photos. Both were arrested for accusation of espionage and held imprisoned for one and a half day. They think that this event in Turkey is the background of the withdrawal of their G20 admission certificate.

Turkish journalist Adil Yigit, whose accreditation was also withdrawn, also points at the Turkish government. He took a picture of President Erdogan with the head of the Turkish secret service in Hamburg. Yigit suspects that the Turkish intelligence service has passed that on to the German service.

New information reveals extent of attack on democratic rights during G20 protest in Hamburg: here.

Leftism illegal in Germany after G20 summit?

This video says about itself:

100s of ‘clay figures’ crawl through Hamburg protesting G20

6 July 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators staged a protest in Hamburg’s city center ahead of the G20 summit on Wednesday. The protest was organized by the artistic group ‘1000 GESTALTEN’ (1000 Figures) in order to show ‘a symbol for our society and a symbol that they feel excluded from the political process, only look out for themselves, only consume and don’t stand for each other.’ The figures represented a dog-eat-dog society in which belief in solidarity has been lost. The performers called for more humanity and individual responsibility.

By Andre Damon:

After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views

11 July 2017

Following demonstrations by tens of thousands of people in the city of Hamburg over the weekend, the German political establishment has stepped up its campaign to criminalize political opposition and attack fundamental democratic rights.

In a long-planned military-police operation, some 20,000 police were mobilized from throughout Germany and the European Union to suppress largely peaceful demonstrators. As helicopters and fighter jets flew over the city of Hamburg, heavily-armed police, some brandishing machine guns and carbines, carried out hundreds of arrests, beat protesters with batons, sprayed them with water cannon, and doused them with tear gas and pepper spray.

Incidents of vandalism by a small group of petty-bourgeois anarchists were used as the flimsy pretext for this massive police crackdown. Amid widespread infiltration of anarchist groups by German police, there can be no doubt that actions by police agent provocateurs, planned and coordinated ahead of time, played a major role in the disturbances.

With the conclusion of the G20 summit, the German political establishment has only stepped up its campaign to crack down on political dissent. In an interview with the Bild newspaper, Social Democratic Party (SPD) Justice Minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a European-wide database of “left-wing extremists,” referring to protesters as “anti-social hard-core criminals,” who had “committed serious crimes in Hamburg, including attempted murder.”

Maas went on to call for a “Rock Against the Left” concert to target left-wing “extremists,” declaring, “I would hope that any form of political extremism, which encourages senseless violence, even attempted murder, would not remain without a social reaction.”

The slogan “Rock Against the Left” had previously been associated with neo-Nazi rock bands such as “Freikorps” and “Sturmfront.” The far-right press in Germany warmly welcomed Maas’s proposal. The “new rightJunge Freiheit newspaper quoted a statement by Nazi-linked German-Italian rock band Frei Wild calling on right-wing musical acts to mobilize against the left in response to the events in Hamburg.

Armin Schuster, a parliamentarian with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, called for shuttering community spaces used by left-wing political groups. “Left-wing centers like Rote Flora in Hamburg and Rigaer Strasse in Berlin need to be systematically closed down,” he declared. He said Germany should have no tolerance for “lawless spaces, either for Arab clans, Islamists or neo-Nazis, and not for left-wing radicals either.”

CDU Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière declared, for his part, “The events surrounding the G20 summit must be a turning point in our view of the left-wing scene’s readiness to use violence.”

He boasted that “several hundred” people had been turned away from Germany’s borders in recent days on the basis of their left-wing political views as a result of tightened border security measures ahead of the G20. Other members of the CDU called for these temporary measures to be made permanent, claiming that the border controls led to the capture of criminals.

European officials backed up the repression of protesters, with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker saying the actions of the police warranted “compliments, not criticism.” He added that the police response represented “Hamburg at its best.”

The widespread attack on political opposition takes place in advance of federal elections in September in which the two leading parties, the CDU and SPD, are seeking to outflank each other from the right by whipping up a law-and-order hysteria, xenophobia and hatred of refugees.

If anything, the nominally “left” Social Democrats have taken the more extreme position. After a series of disastrous electoral failures, reflecting this broadly despised organization’s loss of credibility as a party of social reform, the SPD is seeking to appeal to fascistic elements previously attracted to the extreme-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Since the last federal election in 2013, both parties have been conspiring, with the support of the media, to bully the public into accepting a revival by Germany of great-power imperialist politics. This has entailed a massive rearmament and expansion of the country’s military and intelligence forces and the promotion of fascistic intellectual figures such as Jörg Baberowski, the Humboldt University academic who notoriously declared that “Hitler was not vicious,” as part of an effort to whitewash the crimes of German imperialism.

The attack on left-wing political views in Germany is part of a breakdown of democratic forms of rule and the implementation of police state measures throughout Europe. Since November 2015, France has been under a state of emergency, which, under the Hollande government, was used to subject opponents of the draconian El Khomri labor law to arbitrary and indefinite house arrest.

The moves against left-wing political organizations constitute an effort to pre-empt and intimidate widespread popular opposition to militarism and social inequality, expressed in the results of a recent EU poll that found that young people overwhelmingly believe the “gap between the rich and poor is widening,” and that “banks and money rule the world.” More than half of those polled said they would join a “large scale uprising.”

Germany: Extent of “left-wing violence” at G20 summit was wildly exaggerated: here.

The demonisation of refugees is increasingly the central theme of the federal (Bundestag) election campaign of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD). Just ten days ago SPD chief Martin Schulz resorted to the jargon of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Schultz accused German chancellor Angela Merkel of allowing into the country more than a million refugees two years ago in a “largely uncontrolled” manner and declared that this could not be repeated. Boris Pistorius, responsible for internal security issues in Schulz’s election campaign, quickly followed suit. The interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony, known as a hardliner, called for the limitation of asylum numbers by setting up detention centres in Libya: here.

The Hamburg police want to significantly expand their controversial search operation for alleged “rioters” and “violent criminals” on the periphery of the G20 summit in July 2017. The measure is part of a massive stepping up of state powers at home and corresponds to the plans of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Union parties (Christian Democratic Union-CDU/Christian Social Union-CSU) for coordinated policing practices across Europe: here.

G20 summit in police state Hamburg, Germany

Jesse and Cosvin, anti-G20 demonstrators in Hamburg, GermanyFrom the World Socialist Web Site in Germany:

G20 protest participants speak out against police crackdown

By our reporters

10 July 2017

A major demonstration against the G20 summit took place in Hamburg Saturday as the leaders of the world’s 20 major powers met just a few kilometres away. Around 60,000 people marched from Deichtorplatz near the central train station to Heiliggeistfeld. Following brutal police attacks against peaceful demonstrators, the issue of police violence dominated the demonstration.

Jesse and Cosvin reported on how aggressively the police had dealt with youth. The two school students are just 15 years old but have attended several demonstrations over recent days. “Yesterday, for example, we were at a peaceful ‘youth against the G20’ demonstration, which escalated due to the police because they beat us away with batons, claiming we were standing in the way,” Jesse said. In his opinion, the violence was initiated chiefly by the police.

Cosvin agreed. At the demonstration, the police suddenly yelled, “Out of the way!” and then cleared the street. “They didn’t even give the protesters a second to get out of the way, but started striking us immediately. I mean, people were pushing from behind so you can’t retreat, and then they attack.” Cosvin thought it was an unnecessary provocation that the police used water cannon at the youth demonstration. “It could have been avoided,” the student said. “This is always portrayed differently on television,” she added.

Jesse added that he could barely sleep over recent days due to the constant sound of police helicopters. Although they opposed the police violence and the constant presence of the security forces, they were not surprised by it.

Things were quite different for Gero. The self-employed IT specialist drove from Essen to take part in the protest in order to demonstrate against police violence. He took this decision spontaneously after seeing a video of the police assault on a protest camp at Entenwerder. He had stuck a piece of paper on a plastic lid on which he had expressed his outrage in large letters, “Hamburg police: escalate until there are deaths and injuries! Violation of the constitution!”

Gero was completely taken aback by the actions of the police. For 20 years, he had “supported police activities, thought they were right, and did not believe legends that they beat demonstrators.” But then he had seen “how units stormed a field, where there were 11 tents, they must have been incredibly dangerous,” he commented sarcastically. The police then deployed pepper spray against the camp’s residents, without any provocation.

Gero was familiar with the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, which declared the camp, including the tents, to be legal. “If you think it’s over, the police violated a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court with the decision they made about the gathering.”

The authoritarian actions of the police, which without any inhibitions totally violated the law, was also the main issue for a group of young people who wrote on their placard, “The police chiefs of [capitals of governments participating in the G20 summit] Istanbul, Riyadh and Moscow welcome their ‘democratic’ colleagues in Hamburg!”

Istanbul, Riyadh police sign

Hamburg in fact currently resembles a city under siege. Twenty-nine thousand officers from all 16 states are present in the city, backed up by special forces units from other European countries. Anyone walking through the city centre on Saturday, even away from the protest route, found officers and police vehicles in almost every alley.

The police have also acquired equipment which is obviously designed for civil war-style conflict. Looking out of the demonstration into the side streets, one could see at some distance dozens of heavily-armoured police officers, masked and wearing balaclavas, and some wearing helmets. Water cannon and armoured vehicles were always at the ready. While tens of thousands of people followed the demonstration route, the city appeared like a ghost town beyond the police blockades. Not a single car drove in the side streets or those running parallel to the demonstration, and not even pedestrians were seen.

Police water cannons

Shortly after the beginning of the demonstration, a line of police officers flanked the march on both sides. While families with children, young people and the elderly walked between them in a relaxed atmosphere, the police put on their balaclavas, and on one side even their helmets. Two, sometimes three, helicopters circled permanently over the procession, where people danced to music and laughed. The contrast between a peaceful demonstration and an omnipresent state power could hardly be greater.

For Eugen, a 75-year-old pensioner, the source of the violence was clear. On his sign, which he carried high in front of him in full view prior to the demonstration, he had written, “Those preparing violence are currently meeting in the exhibition centre.” That was a reference to the summit participants, who are all responsible for “all of the misery, that exists and is growing continuously in this world,” as he put it. He was “very fearful of a global war”. He also blamed German policy, which has directly profited from the wars through massive arms exports.

Eugen, with a sign reading: 'Those preparing violence are currently meeting in the exhibition centre'

Eugen, who formerly worked as a shipbuilder, sees the basic problem as capitalism. “One should not strive to tinker with capitalism” and seek small changes, but rather abolish it: “I don’t care what it is called afterwards, but capitalism must be overcome.”

But many banners expressed the hope of a united world; “peace” was one of the words most frequently visible. A common topic of discussion was that Africa, an entire continent, was entirely excluded from the G20 deliberations, which outraged many. Some hoped for a better world through closer cooperation in the United Nations. Cosvin, the 15-year-old student, appealed for a meeting of all nations, “A G194.”

Oliver, with a sign reading: 'Imagine you need asylum and nobody helps you'

The enthusiastic participation of many students and youth was clear to see. Oliver, who travelled from Berlin to participate, thought this was a positive sign. The young teacher carried a sign reading, “Imagine you need asylum and nobody helps you!” His t-shirt declared, “Refugees welcome!

He views the G20 as a “club for the elite,” who are united on most questions: Europe remains a fortress, and the US also wants to protect itself against the flow of refugees from the south. “I worry about world peace,” said Oliver. However, the real conflict is not currently going on between armies, he added, but rather in society. Whether world hunger or climate change, “those who bear the brunt are the people, and this war has been waged for a long time.”

Asked what can be done now, Oliver said, “I am an optimist.” One only needs to look at “how many young people are here. I think that is a big statement.”

Despite cobbling together a unanimous resolution, the G20 summit was, by any measure, the most fractious meeting of major political leaders in the post-war period: here.

G20 Hamburg protests, videos

This video says about itself:

Tens of Thousands Plan to Protest Trump and Globalization at G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany

6 July 2017

Thousands of protesters are expected to attempt to disrupt the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where President Trump is headed. The protests followed actions earlier in the week, in which German police attacked protesters with water cannons as thousands gathered to protest against the summit and Trump. The summit is viewed by demonstrators as centered around exploitation of people and global resources. We speak with Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. The group released a statement titled “Campaigners tell the G20: your model is broken, only radical reform can undermine Trump.”

This video says about itself:

Dystopian Nightmare: Eyewitness Decries Police Repression at G20 Summit as 100,000 Take to Streets

7 July 2017

Mass demonstrations have erupted across Hamburg, Germany, as world leaders gather for the G20 summit, where President Donald Trump is meeting with other world leaders. About 100,000 protesters took to the streets and have staged sit-ins in an attempt to disrupt the first day of the summit. Police fired water cannons, pepper spray and stun grenades to disperse protesters. Key issues on the G20 agenda include climate change, trade and North Korea. Protesters who gathered say the G20 has failed to solve many issues, including climate change and global economic disparities. We speak with philosopher Srecko Horvat, who is taking part in the G20 alternative summit, known as the Global Solidarity Summit. He is the co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement, also known as DiEM25.

This video says about itself:

Srecko Horvat on “Democracy in Europe Movement” & Uniting Leftists Against Failed Policies of G20

7 July 2017

As President Donald Trump meets with world leaders at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany, European activists held a G20 alternative summit—the Global Solidarity Summit. We speak to Croatian philosopher Srecko Horvat about the G20’s policies and the Democracy in Europe Movement, which he started with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

This video says about itself:

Srećko Horvat on the Violence of the G20 Nations & Mass Protests at Hamburg Summit

7 July 2017

Five months after protests in the German city of Hamburg against the G20 summit, the police and state prosecutors have published pictures of hundreds of demonstrators online. In a co-ordinated campaign with the right-wing Bild newspaper, they are calling on members of the public to denounce those pictured. The initiative is not only disproportionate, but unlawful. Nothing comparable has taken place since the founding of the German Federal Republic: here.

G20 for rulers, police state for people in Hamburg, Germany

This video says about itself:

Party Protocol: German police officers go wild while preparing for G20 summit

28 June 2017

There are red faces at Berlin’s police department – after hundreds of officers deployed to help secure next month’s G20 summit in Hamburg, were sent home after reports of wild partying.

By Alex Lantier:

The oligarchs assemble in Hamburg

8 July 2017

The events of this week’s G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany reveal the two basic conflicts tearing apart contemporary capitalist society. There is the intensifying struggle between rival national cliques of bankers and billionaires and the growing struggle of the international working class against all of them.

While the rulers of the world’s 20 leading economies gathered in Hamburg to fight amongst one another over the division of the loot extracted from the working class, they were completely united behind the violent suppression of popular opposition to their attacks on living standards and democratic rights.

On Thursday, as 100,000 people began to assemble for “Shut Down Capitalism” protests, police assaulted a central march of 12,000 people, arresting many and attacking others with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and water cannons.

At least 11 protesters were hospitalized with serious injuries, as tens of thousands of police turned downtown Hamburg into a war zone patrolled by SWAT teams with automatic weapons. Protesters traveling from Switzerland, the Netherlands and France were branded “left extremists” and turned back by authorities at the German border.

The brutal crackdown was escalated on Friday.

Police officials justify the police state operation by pointing to the actions of rioters. But given the well documented infiltration of political organizations by German police agencies, one can safely assume that any rioting that occurred was carried out with the involvement of police provocateurs assigned the task of creating a pretext for a massive show of force. The great majority of protestors remained peaceful.

Authorities in Germany and across the European Union fear the growth of social anger and a rising revolutionary mood among the youth. Over half of young Europeans told an EU-sponsored poll this year that they would join a “large-scale uprising” against the political system. The German authorities aim to terrorize not only protesters who are still gathering in Hamburg, but the expanding ranks of people around the world who oppose the capitalist system.

The police operation in Hamburg exposes the political and class content of the opposition of the EU, Berlin and Paris to the Trump administration. While posing as enlightened, anti-nationalist supporters of democracy and the environment, the European leaders oversee a vicious assault on demonstrators protesting social inequality. The suppression of opposition from below is central to their bid to challenge the United States for imperialist supremacy.

The fact that the Hamburg crackdown takes place in a city run by the Social Democrats and the Greens simply underscores that this is the policy not of a faction of the ruling elite, but of the entire capitalist class and all of its political servants.

The heads of state assembled at the G20 personify an entrenched capitalist oligarchy that is driving the world to disaster. All of them—including Rothschild banker-turned French president Emmanuel Macron; the representatives of the oligarchs who emerged from capitalist restoration in Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping; the Saudi oil sheikhs; and the multi-billionaire US president—are yes-men of Wall Street, the City of London and the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Paris.

The billionaire financial elite has enriched itself massively since the 2008 Wall Street crash, when their criminal speculation in the US housing market sank the world economy, plunging it into its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. With contempt for rising social distress and popular anger, they funneled trillions of dollars and euros from the public coffers into the banks, the stock exchanges and their own pockets.

The major powers launched the G20 summit in 2009 to show their supposed unity and celebrate their success in handling the crash via these bank bailouts. In the communiqué from its 2009 Pittsburgh summit, the G20 hailed the transfer of massive sums to the super-rich, declaring: “It worked… Our forceful response helped stop the dangerous, sharp decline in global activity and stabilize financial markets.”

Faced with the exposure of corporate criminality that had impoverished billions of people worldwide, bourgeois politicians held up the bailouts and the establishment of the G20 as proof of capitalism’s historic viability. “The crisis of financial capitalism is not the crisis of capitalism… The crisis of capitalism calls for its moralization, not its destruction,” then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy proclaimed, while former French Socialist Party Prime Minister Michel Rocard hailed capitalism as the most “democracy-compatible” social system.

The wars and financial eruptions of the last decade have given the lie to the defenders of capitalism. The bailouts did not halt the industrial collapse or prevent future financial crises. Rather, they consolidated an international aristocracy whose privileges are based on staggering levels of social inequality. In 2017, the wealth of the world’s eight richest billionaires surpasses that of half of the world’s population.

Over the same period, the struggle among the ruling classes over the division of the world’s wealth has escalated to the point of all-out global conflict. With political and geo-strategic conflicts openly pitting the major powers—whether enemies or “allies”—against one another, the Hamburg summit is on the verge of concluding without reaching an agreement on a final communiqué. The current debacle may very well be the last such gathering.

In the run-up to the summit, Washington reiterated its rejection of the Paris climate accord in the face of protests by European and Asian officials, while Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping mounted dueling tours of Europe. Trump gave a speech in Warsaw to back Poland’s far-right, anti-EU regime even as Xi held talks in Berlin to consolidate growing EU-China economic ties.

On Friday, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held an inconclusive meeting, agreeing to another shaky cease-fire in southern Syria, where NATO and Russian forces have on several occasions nearly clashed. However, they failed to reach any agreement on the US military stand-off with nuclear-armed North Korea, which borders Russia and China. After the two met, US press commentary soon focused on incendiary allegations of Russian hacking of the American elections.

Explosive conflicts between the G20 powers exist in virtually every corner of the globe, including the current face-off between Indian and Chinese troops over disputed territory in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Perhaps the most destabilizing conflicts, however, are the growing threats of trade war between the imperialist states at the heart of the world financial system.

After Trump threatened the EU with tariffs on its steel exports to the United States, EU officials indicated that they are preparing a list of retaliatory tariffs on US goods. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker commented, “We are ready to take up arms if need be.”

Bitter experiences like the Hamburg protests are driving the working class, across Europe and internationally, onto the road of world socialist revolution. The financial oligarchy is beyond reform. The only way forward is a genuinely revolutionary policy, mobilizing the working class in struggle for a direct assault on the capitalist class, with the aim of confiscating its obscene fortunes, seizing control of the major banks and corporations, and placing them under the democratic control of working people.

Ivanka Trump Stepped In For Her Dad At The G-20 Summit, And Folks Weren’t Happy: here.

This 8 July 2017 video is called LIVE: Protesters gather as up to 100,000 expected at anti-G20 in Hamburg.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Hamburg under police lockdown

8 July 2017

Heavily-armed police units repeatedly disperse protests with armoured vehicles and water cannon and attack protesters with batons, pepper spray and rubber bullets.

Journalists are attacked and lawyers for the demonstrators classified by the police as “dangerous” because of their political beliefs.

A de facto ban on demonstrations is in force throughout an entire city of several million people, and on virtually every street corner there is a police checkpoint.

No, this is not Cairo, where the dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi drowned protests against his Western-backed military regime in blood. This is Hamburg, the normally rather tranquil German metropolis. Today, as host city of the G20 summit, it resembles a police state.

More than 20,000 police from across the country have been mobilized to crush all protests against the world’s major capitalist governments.

On the eve of Saturday’s demonstration, expected to draw 100,000 G20 opponents, the ranks of the police have once again been increased. Two hundred additional officers have been sent from Baden-Württemberg and more than 200 from Mecklenburg-Pomerania. … Hamburg itself is governed by a red-green coalition under Social Democratic (SPD) Mayor Olaf Scholz. …

The brutal actions carried out by police on Thursday against a demonstration organized under the slogan “Welcome to Hell” further escalated the situation in the city. In the Schanzen district, a stronghold of anarchist groups, there were scenes reminiscent of a civil war as police clashed with demonstrators. Special Forces operated with helicopters and armoured vehicles and forced their way into the district with machine guns cocked. The security forces attacked journalists and refused to allow them to document the crackdown.

The police intervention on Thursday evening was so brutal and provocative that even some bourgeois media outlets criticised it. “The police acted at times so harshly that people panicked,” wrote Der Spiegel. Based on the pretext that some members of the so-called black block were hooded, police used armoured vehicles to stop the peaceful demonstration after 300 metres. They then proceeded to fire water cannon and tear gas into the crowd. “The police accepted that there could be deaths,” said Christoph Kleine from “G20 Platform.”

On its “Monitor” programme, Public broadcaster ARD focused on the savage and unlawful methods used by the Hamburg security forces. Responsibility for this lies with the police director, Hartmut Dudde, who was installed by Social Democratic Interior Senator Michael Neumann in 2012. Courts have repeatedly confirmed that the director has “violated applicable laws,” by arresting, kettling and “provoking left-wing demonstrators.”

Already last Sunday, the Hamburg police forcibly cleared a camp that had been sanctioned by an administrative court. Even outside the 38,000 square kilometre zone where demonstrations are banned, the security forces have acted ruthlessly against protests.

Journalist Martin Eimermacher told Monitor, “My arm with the media identification was shoved aside. With blows and kicks we were effectively kettled. I called out on several occasions that I was from the media and wanted out of there. And then my face was sprayed with pepper spray, which was sprayed at us from at most half a metre away.”

The German government gave its explicit backing to the police action. Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly thanked the security forces. They had her “full support” for their very demanding job, she said. “But violent demonstrations endanger human lives,” she added. They were therefore “not to be tolerated.”

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel hypocritically expressed his empathy for the protesters in the Passauer Neue Presse, but only to make his real standpoint clear. In “democratic countries,” he said, it had to be possible “for heads of state and government from around the world to meet and speak with each other.” The main criticism should not be “directed at such an event, but at the violent demonstrations.”

Who does Gabriel think he is kidding with his phrases about “democracy” that obviously serve to justify brutal police violence? The events in Hamburg expose the true character of German imperialism. It is not a progressive alternative to the right-wing “America First” policies of US President Donald Trump, but rather its German equivalent.

The return of German great power politics, which has above all been pushed by Gabriel and the Social Democrats, is inseparably bound up with the establishment of a police state and the mobilisation of far-right forces.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) called yesterday for a “zero tolerance strategy” against protesters. “Left-wing demonstrators can no longer be treated with kid gloves, but should be dealt with for what they are: terrorists,” stated Alice Weidel, the AfD’s lead candidate in the upcoming federal election.

Right-wing extremist Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski also demanded that the police adopt tough measures. On his Twitter account, he shared a post from Felix Leidecker, the Mainz chairman of the Junge Union, the CDU’s youth movement. Baberowski wrote, “There can be no more ‘more of the same’ in dealing with left-wing extremism in this country after Hamburg. The legal order must defend itself now!”

With its aggressive and hysterical actions, the ruling class is responding to the growing opposition to social cuts and war that has found expression in the widespread hostility to the G20 summit. The budget-cutting policies of recent years, which all capitalist parties have supported, have produced a social catastrophe across Europe and made Germany one of the most unequal countries in the world. On Thursday, the Hans-Böckler Foundation published a study according to which the percentage of the working population classified as poor in spite of regular employment doubled between 2004 and 2014 to 9.6 percent, or 3.7 million people.

On the other side, a tiny privileged elite, whose representatives are meeting in Hamburg, has enriched itself obscenely, exploiting the 2008 financial crisis to vastly increase its wealth. According to a study by development charity Oxfam, eight billionaires, six of whom come from the US, possess more wealth than the poorest half of the world’s population, 3.6 billion people. Thirty-six German billionaires own as much wealth (€276 billion) as the poorest half of the German population.

It is simply impossible to impose such levels of social inequality and the return of German militarism without a police state. Hamburg must be taken as a warning. Some seven decades after the end of the Nazi regime of terror, Germany’s ruling elite is throwing overboard all of the basic democratic principles it was forced to recognise through gritted teeth in the post-war era.

G20 summit police state in Hamburg, Germany

This video says about itself:

Germany: G20 protest flotilla takes to the waters in Hamburg

2 July 2017

Around 120 boats and canoes were seen on Binnenalster, Hamburg, Sunday, as part of a water-borne protest against the G20 summit, which takes place in the city on July 7-8.

Several of the protesters were equipped with placards and flags, and many wore masks depicting the leaders of the G20 countries.

Around 20,000 people are thought to have taken part in the main protest against the summit, marching through the central streets of the northern city with banners and flags demanding the summit’s cancellation. They also called for the protection of the environment and for an end to the use of fossil fuels and nuclear sources of energy.

Among the protesters were members and supporters of the German Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), the Left Party (Die Linke), and ecological and left-wing movements and organisations.

By Sven Heymanns in Germany:

G20 summit in Hamburg: A city in a state of siege

4 July 2017

The city of Hamburg, Germany, host to the G20 summit to be held July 7-8, is a city under siege. 15,000 police officers from every German state are practicing bringing a major city under state control. Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take part in demonstrations during the summit.

A closer look at the planned measures makes clear that they are intended not just to protect the political elite attending the G20, but represent deliberate preparations for a civil war scenario that would not be possible under normal circumstances. The number of police and security forces involved is unprecedented, with camps set up to incarcerate G20 opponents.

These measures are accompanied by massive attacks on the basic rights of demonstrators and the city’s population. The German army (Bundeswehr) is also taking part in the siege of Hamburg—in part publicly, in part undercover. Even bourgeois media outlets such as the Huffington Post write of “a city in a state of war”.

Police are assembling from all of Germany’s 16 states, with several states dispatching special police units. GSG9, the special unit of the federal police, will take part.

It is “the biggest operation in the history of the Hamburg police,” declared police president Ralf Martin Meyer. The operation has been under way for several weeks, with civilian police posted to the most important points in the city center to conduct surveillance.

It is an unprecedented operation, and not just for the Hamburg police. The head of operations, Hartmut Dudde, told the press that “almost everything the German police has” will be in Hamburg.

Spiegel Online reported that every police officer will be equipped with a gun, a baton and teargas. The special units distributed throughout the city center have additional heavy armament, including “a variety of pistols and revolvers, glare grenades, battering rams and the sniper rifle PSG1”, one of the most precise weapons available.

The new police vehicle “Survivor R” will be also be used for the first time. The 15-ton behemoth resembles the vehicles used by the US army in Iraq, which were then turned into police cars and used against protesters during the police lockdown of Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. The vehicle is manned by ten policemen, including a commander, a gunner and two targeteers. The launching system can be used for tear gas or fog grenades. A blade to destroy blockades is also included.

At the presentation of the vehicle last summer, it was said that the “Survivor” was the only police truck that can withstand shots from an AK-47. It is also equipped with detectors that report the presence of nuclear, biological and chemical agents, and it has its own ventilation system to protect those inside the vehicle. A “Survivor” costs up to 500,000 euros, depending on the equipment.

The Hamburg police also have the “WaWe 10000”—“the most modern water cannon in the world,” Spiegel Online writes. The vehicle can shoot up to 3,200 litres of water within 60 seconds, with the water jet extending up to 65 meters. The WaWe can create an artificial wall of water allowing police and special units to advance on demonstrators. The vehicle is also equipped with gas tanks and corresponding admixing systems, which make it possible to spray tear gas along with the water.

In addition to the above-mentioned vehicles, which are clearly aimed for use against the population in a civil war type situation, the police are carrying out numerous other measures. This includes a permanent presence in the waters of the port city, which transports goods along the River Elbe. The river and port are to be watched over by a special unit of the Dutch police.

Stern magazine reports that “3,000 police vehicles, nearly 200 service dogs, eleven helicopters, around 50 police officers […] and special units from several states” will be deployed. Special vehicles with translucent and bulletproof walls are due to be sent from France. They were previously deployed against demonstrators protesting the French Labor Market Act.

According to a report by the magazine Focus, the Bundeswehr is planning to use a maritime ship in the port of Hamburg as part of the G20 summit operation. The secret use of the ship, which is intended to rescue heads of state and government in the event of a terrorist attack, is clearly unconstitutional.

The ship could be sent at any time in the direction of the North Sea and has operating rooms on board. For camouflage, soldiers will wear civilian clothes. The pretext for the ship’s stay in the port is officially the procurement of missing spare parts. The federal criminal police office and the Ministry of Defence rejected the media reports. War ships were “not part of our deployment concept”, a police officer told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

In fact, according to the Morgenpost, the Bundeswehr is using the multi-purpose “Lachs” (Salmon) boat for so-called “administrative assistance.” It will be manned by personnel for various “security” tasks, as well as specialists for diving medicine. Finally, the German army is deploying an underwater drone to scan the Hamburg harbour basin for explosives.

The siege of the city is accompanied by a massive attack on the basic democratic rights of local residents and demonstrators.

A so-called general police decree enables the security forces to control the arrival and departure of the participants to the summit. The decree bans any demonstrations in a 38-square kilometre zone between the city’s airport and the Elbe, and roads can be blocked at any time. Another zone surrounding the hall where the summit takes place can only be entered by local residents.

Police have reacted to the plans for over two dozen demonstrations and protests by setting up a detention center, which could more accurately described as a temporary concentration camp.

Up to 400 people can be detained on the site of a former food market covering an area of 11,000 square meters. There will also be containers for lawyers as well as facilities for taking fingerprints and identifying personal data. A total of 70 collective and 50 individual cells are available, according to Spiegel Online.

An attempt by the city of Hamburg to ban the “Antikapitalistische Camp,” located in the city park, has failed temporarily. Following a ban order issued by the Hamburg Higher Administrative Court, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that such a ban was inadmissible because it prevented participants from exercising their right of assembly.

However, the city court and police have given sufficient scope to proceed against the camp by other means. The police can limit the size of the camp, impose various regulations and even move it to a different place in the city.

On Thursday evening Hamburg’s interior affairs senator, Andy Grote (SPD), announced that prohibitive measures would be taken against the organizers of the camp if they build it illegally. While the Constitutional Court lifted a ban on the camp, the city council has failed to give its permission for a camp to be erected.

Yesterday, Salman ibn Abd al-Aziz, the king of Saudi Arabia, canceled his participation in the G20 summit. One war criminal less; still plenty (including United States President Trump) present.

G20 summit in Germany, big demonstration

This video shows the big demonstration today in Hamburg, Germany against the G20 summit there, organised by Greenpeace and others.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Protesters in Hamburg demand changes from G20

Today, 19:51

In Hamburg, thousands of people in a demonstration have demanded action by the world’s largest industrialized nations meeting on the 7th and 8th of July at the G20 summit in the north German city. At the first of the thirty announced demonstrations were people with signs with texts such as ‘Fight poverty‘, ‘Stop the coal mining‘ and ‘Planet Earth First‘.

According to the police there were 8000 protesters, but the organizers counted 25,000. …

Many speakers were angry at the demonstration ban at the G20 summit in Hamburg, proclaimed by Mayor Scholz of the SPD.

political party, junior partner in the German Merkel government

Other demonstrations on the eve of the summit have mottos such as ‘Welcome to hell‘ and ‘G20 not welcome‘. At the summit, the 19 largest economies and the European Union are present.

Including United States President Donald Trump.

German G20 summit police misbehave

This video says about itself:

Germany: Go hard or go home! Berlin police booted out of G20 after throwing huge party

27 June 2017

Hamburg police have sent home several hundred Berlin police officers due to misconduct during the preparations for the G20 summit, a Berlin police spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.

SOT, Thomas Neuendorf, Berlin police spokesperson (German): “The Hamburg police informed us that hundreds of forces did not behave properly there and therefore they sent them back to Berlin. In detail, the officials there are accused of peeing against the fence in their accommodation, having sexual intercourse in the open, and that there was a lot of noise and an excess consumption of alcohol. We are yet to verify all of this, and we will naturally listen to the officials, and if all is confirmed, there will be naturally further investigations and depending on the circumstances disciplinary actions.”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hamburg sends away misbehaving Berlin police

Today, 18:12

A group of over 220 Berlin police officers deployed for the G20 summit in Hamburg has been sent back to Berlin for misconduct before the start of the summit. … They arrived on Sunday and were sent back already yesterday.

They celebrated an exuberant party, being “indecent and unacceptable” according to the Hamburg police. Some urinated jointly and publicly against fences and a policewoman is said to have danced on a table only dressed in a bathrobe with a weapon in her hand. According to German media, there was also “public sexual intercourse”.

A spokesman for the Berlin police calls the behaviour of his colleagues “painful”.

The Berlin police also beat up colleagues from Wuppertal.