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Turkish journalist Adil Yigit, whose accreditation was also withdrawn, also points at the Turkish government.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.