+++ G-20 Newsblog in English +++ Heavily Armed Special Unit Deployed to Stop Violence

German security agencies have deployed a machine gun-wielding unit in Hamburg to stop violent protests that have disrupted the G-20 currently taking place.


A large part of the street Schulterblatt in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood is cleared by police. Officials confirmed that special forces were part of the operation. The threat to the forces was significant according to police.
According to Hamburg police the situation is calming down. Although a few small groups are still going around and committing criminal property damage.
 
A rooftop image of the riots in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel neighborhood posted an hour ago on Twitter. 
Police forces are currently moving into Hamburg's Schanzenviertel. They're carrying machine guns and deploying water cannons as rioters try to hide on the rooftops of surrounding buildings. Helicopters are scanning the area with searchlights.
A Sparkasse savings bank has been broken into in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood of Hamburg, reports SPIEGEL ONLINE reporter Sven Becker. Rioters seem to have the upper hand in parts of the neighborhood. "This is what anarchy looks like," Becker says. 
(Photo: Reuters)
A man standing at the barricades in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood in Hamburg.
 
Hamburg police sends out a tweet saying that serious crimes are being prepared against officers in the streets of Hamburg and that the situation is "very serious."
The situation in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood of Hamburg is getting tense. "The Black Bloc is doing whatever they want," says SPIEGEL ONLINE reporter Dominik Peters. "The quarter is surrounded by riot police and water cannon. There are many onlookers, but also small groups of Black Bloc rioters, and their numbers are increasing. Young men are carrying up to four bottles of white wine and bragging that they stole them out of a shop. The mood is becoming increasingly testy." (Photo: Getty Images)
A passerby told SPIEGEL ONLINE reporter Fabian Pieper that he took money out of an ATM at a Sparkasse savings bank in Hamburg as black-clad demonstrators destroyed the other ATMs next to him. They left the man alone as he took out his money before, once he was finished, destroying the last working ATM at the bank. "It was very strange. I am the last one who was able to take out money. I hope they don't get in trouble for letting me finish," the man said laughing. (Photo: SPIEGEL ONLINE)
 
Meanwhile, activists are collecting stones in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood of Hamburg. Perhaps preparing for a night of battles with the police.
 
It's dinner time at the G-20.
 
Spiegel reporters say that many of the people on the street have now just come out to see what is going on.
 
Meanwhile, police have updated the count of injured officers to 196.
 
(Photo: Getty Images)
 
Alarming images of the Schanzenviertel district of the city coming through, though Spiegel reporter Dominik Peters says the mood is relatively calm on the ground.
 
(Photo: Getty Images)
 
Organizers of the Block-G20 protest alliance have claimed the day as a victory, because the summit had been disrupted. "We did what we said we were going to do," spokeswoman Jana Schneider said. "Thousands of people entered the so-called blue zone," she added, referring to the police-designated security zones in central Hamburg.
 
"We were where we weren't supposed to be – on the access roads to the summit," added spokesman Christian Blank. "Up until now the day has been our success."
With the G-20 leaders enjoying a bit of music in the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, now might be a good time to read up on the "Black Bloc," who have been rampaging through Hamburg in the last two days. By Berlin-based AFP reporter Deborah Cole.

'Black bloc' G20 rioters trace roots to Cold War

Berlin (AFP) - The balaclava-wearing radicals known as "black blocs" rampaging through the streets of Hamburg during the G20 summit trace their roots back to Cold War-era West Germany.
A police officer in the Schanzenviertel quarter of Hamburg has fired a warning shot. The police said at first that he was "heavily attacked by violent criminals." After firing the shot, he fled into a shop.
 
Half an hour later, the police changed its account of the incident slightly: "The warning shot was fired as forces saw a robbery happening on the street, intervened, and were attacked by the perpetrators." Spiegel reporter Dominik Peters heard the shot and saw police taking a man out of a building, though he could not see whether the man in question was a police officer or a demonstrator.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
 
President Donald Trump has finally arrived at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall alongside First Lady Melania Trump, who was trapped in her guest residence by protests in Hamburg earlier in the day.
 
Extended talks at the G-20 summit delayed the start of a special concert for the world leaders.
Russia and the U.S. have produced contradictory accounts of the two-hour meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, during which the U.S. president brought up the vexed question of Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election.
 
While U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that the two countries may never agree on what happened, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov said that Trump had accepted Putin's denial that Moscow had interfered. Russia also demanded the U.S. produce any evidence they had.
 
 
Tillerson also said that a working group would be set up to create a framework on cyber-crime and non-interference in elections.
 
During the course of the meeting, which was only scheduled to last 30 minutes, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. and Russia had agreed a cease-fire deal in southwest Syria, which Tillerson welcomed as the "first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria".
Barricades are being erected on the streets of St. Pauli in preparation for tonight's altercations, says Der Spiegel's Mathieu von Rohr:
 
 
Angela Merkel's eye-roll while talking to President Putin is well on the way to becoming an internet meme.
 
 
 
Der Spiegel's Mathieu von Rohr has tweeted an image of the remnants of a small fire lit by anti-G-20 protesters, who, he says, like to lay decoy fires around the city to distract police and fire brigades.
 
 
 
SPIEGEL ONLINE's Florian Gathmann has tweeted from inside the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which, he says, is filling up slowly - though most of the world leaders are yet to arrive. The concert is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. German time.
 
 
 
 
 
Angela Merkel's verdict on the first day of the G-20 is in: there's still "a lot of work to do" on the major issues of climate protection and world trade, the chancellor said.

But she also had some success to report: apparently everyone agreed on the basic aims of the fight against terrorism: better intelligence exchange between partners, more effective financial asset freezing measures, and a more concerted effort to shut down terrorist content on the internet.
Angela Merkel is now in the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, waiting for the special concert for G-20 leaders to begin. But Trump and Putin are still in their bilateral meeting.
 
Demonstrators say they are trying to get as close as possible to the concert hall. Crowds are being dispersed from the walkways some two kilometers away, while several boats have been stopped from approaching the Elphilharmonie, which is situated right on the banks of the River Elbe.
Police are driving people away from the jetty with multiple water cannon. (Photo: dpa)
 
Hamburg police chief Ralf Meyer has defended the controversial police action at the "Welcome to Hell" demo on Thursday night. He was "completely certain" that the operation was proportionate, he said. Not everyone agreed with him.
 
Meyer estimated that some 21,000 officers had been deployed to protect the G-20 summit altogether.
 
Hamburg's Interior Minister Andy Grote said that 160 officers had been injured during "massive attacks" in the city, which he said had left him shocked at the "radical, senseless, rampant violence". "The police will deal with the situation here," he added.
 
Hamburg police tweeted that they had arrested 70 people and taken 15 people into custody since the start of operations on Thursday.
 
 
View of the Hamburg jetty (Video: SPIEGEL ONLINE)
Demonstrators being driven from a jetty with water cannon (Photo: AFP)
 
G-20 opponents have tried to reach the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg's new landmark concert hall, where dignitaries are headed this evening for a concert. Police report that around 15 rubber dinghies sped at high speed toward the barricade on the Elbe River. Several activists jumped out about 200 meters from the Elbephilharmonie across the barricade and into the water. They were immediately surrounded. Police say they fished 22 Greenpeace activists out of the water.
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