Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Off to Protest Against Donald Trump and Friends at G-20

Friday and Saturday will be the G-20 talks in Germany, where world leaders will be protected by thousands of police as they discuss ways to make the working class pay for the global economic crisis.

Nathaniel Flakin

July 4, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Image from Framepool from the G-20 Summit in Seoul.

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Hamburg.

This Friday and Saturday, the G20 summit will take place in Germany’s biggest harbor town. It’s a Who’s Who of the world’s most evil people: Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Macri… Are they sad that Michel Temer of Brazil and King Salman of Saudi Arabia had to cancel at the last minute?

These 20 evildoers will be protected by 20,000 police. The whole thing will cost at least 130 million euros of taxpayer money – and probably a lot more.

The summit is still two full days away, but the German repressive apparatus is already in high gear. The police are trying to prevent activists from setting up camps, beating and pepper spraying anyone with a tent.

Germany’s constitutional court had declared that such camps need to be allowed. But the Hamburg police, under the leadership of the SPD/Green government, is simply ignoring the ourt’s decision.

Denying people sleep is a form of torture. Activists are now trying to set up tents all over the city as a form of civil disobedience. The interior minister said that people could rent a hotel room. Do politicians have any idea what hotels cost?

Back when I was in high school in the US, I followed these “summit storms” on TV: Against the WTO in Seattle in 1999, against the G8 in Genoa in 2001. My first experiences up close were in Barcelona in 2002 and in Geneva in 2003. I know that a big demonstration in a militarized city isn’t going to topple capitalism. But it will radicalize a lot of young people.

The capitalist press acts like these demonstrations will be some kind of apocaplyse. But it never ends up being more than a few broken windows, maybe a burned car or two. How can you possibily compare this to the destruction rained down upon Syria by Trump, Erdogan and Putin? And that’s just Syria!

My friend Daniel thinks it’s too dangerous. “You go”, he told me, “and I’ll visit you in prison later.” I’ve been to a lot of these and it’s really not that dangerous. Even if the cops have an orgy of violence, they never arrest more than one per cent of demonstrators. And even if you avoid protests, you can still get hit by a bus.

Of course I’m a bit nervous too. Who wouldn’t be? But if we let ourselves be guided by fear, then the Trumps and Putins and Erdogans have already won. So see you in Hamburg!

Facebook Twitter Share

Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice and our German sister site Klasse Gegen Klasse. Nathaniel, also known by the nickname Wladek, has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which has appeared in German, in English, and in French, and in Spanish. He has also written an anticapitalist guide book called Revolutionary Berlin. He is on the autism spectrum.



Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

Fact Check: Did German Leftists Try to Bomb West Berlin’s Jewish Community Center in 1969?

Answer: No. The bombing was undertaken by West Germany’s domestic secret service, originally founded by Nazis.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 29, 2023
Tombstones in Germany defaced with Swasticas.

“Stop Thief!” The German State Attacks Migrants to Distract from Its Own Antisemitism

German politicians claim that antisemitism is an “imported problem.” Even a cursory look at the facts, however, shows that anti-Jewish hatred is not caused by pro-Palestinian protests. No, the source is German capitalism.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 21, 2023

Competing Rallies at Berlin’s Free University

On successive Fridays, there was a pro-Palestinian and a pro-Israeli rally at the Free University. One was dominated by international students, including many Jews and Palestinians, calling for solidarity — the other was dominated by German politicians spewing racism. Guess which was which.

Nathaniel Flakin

November 13, 2023


The New Hollywood McCarthyism Emerging Around Palestine

Over the past week, a new Hollywood McCarthyism has emerged: multiple people in Hollywood have jobs and representation over their support of Palestine. We must denounce and fight these attacks which weaken the movement and scare supporters into silence.

Sybil Davis

December 3, 2023
A UAW sign is held next to a "Free Palestine" sign

The UAW Has Called for a Ceasefire. It’s Time for All of Labor to Stand Up.

The UAW International union has joined calls for a ceasefire and is exploring how to divest from Israel. This is a step which should inspire union activists to take up the fight to bring their union into the fight against Israel's attack on Gaza and the struggle against imperialism.

Rose Lemlich

December 2, 2023

The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023
Protesters in NYC for Palestinian liberation.

Uniting Workers for Palestine Is a Fight for the Future of Labor

The struggle for Palestine shows the potential for the rank and file to push unions to break with imperialism and to build a new, combative, and internationalist unionism.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

November 27, 2023