The meeting hasn’t occurred yet, but already 12,000 people have begun to protest the meeting of the twenty largest economies, dubbed “Welcome to Hell” by black-clad and masked protesters, claiming to be anti-capitalists. Located within Hamburg, within a district known for its radical left leanings and history, the groups assembled not only to protest capitalism but also President Trump.
In regards to the defiant title of the protests, the leaders (or at least a representative) claim it: “symbolize[s] that G20 policies worldwide are responsible for hellish conditions like hunger, war, and the climate disaster”. I can’t tell if that means they think it’s ironic, or they’re trying to show what their policies have wrought. One of the two.
The protests are already violent, with the black-clad members bombarding the police with bottles and rocks, setting cars on fire and, unsurprisingly, being retaliated at with high-pressure water guns and pepper spray. Given what they claim to represent I am surprised the anti-capitalists would encourage these sorts of acts, but given the nature of the extreme fringes of politics this is perhaps not surprising. Police already expect this to be only a prelude and over the period of the meeting upwards of 100,000 protesters are expected to attend.
I’m sort of torn. I do think economic policies need to shift and reflect actual areas of growth for workers and consumers, big corporate companies might have worked in the short-term but I don’t see them being as effective or productive now, especially in light of the greed and influence they do their best to enforce within politics. On the other hand, I distrust any form of violent protest, and think it only encourages many in power to double down on the policies they claim to be opposed to.
Resistance is fine. But let’s not be stupid about it shall we?