German state takes action against G20 Antifa rioters

Published 29.08.2017 01:24
Antifa burn waste in Schanzenviertel, Hamburg, Germany, July 6.
Antifa burn waste in Schanzenviertel, Hamburg, Germany, July 6.

After the violent events at Hamburg's G20 last July, the German state has initialized trials to be held against the rioters this week.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's idea of holding the G20 in Hamburg this year would be to present the citi as a "gateway to the world" – what she got instead was nothing short of a full-blown riot, with thousands of Antifa roaming the streets, smashing public and private property, as well as setting dozens of cars on fire, and with smoke pillars rising high, they gave an appearance to the city that would not have been too out of place during an allied air-raid in the second world war.

Appropriately, one of the organizations that had planned to protest as well had named their event "welcome to hell" and indeed, the situation on the ground was nothing short of chaotic.

While hundreds of guilty parties will probably never be prosecuted, German authorities are set to start the first trials against some of the rioters that they were able to apprehend. The trials will take place at Hamburg's own regional court.

What makes the situation politically volatile when it comes to Germany's neighbors is the fact that many of the demonstrators and rioters had traveled from different European countries in order to participate in the events, either peacefully or violently.

One such case is that of Stanislav B, a 24-year-old art student from Poland, who was stopped and checked by police outside Hamburg Dammtor train station. Officers found a number of firecrackers, as well as a canister that would potentially be used as a teargas cylinder.

It is illegal to carry such items into public demonstrations, according to the Chief Prosecutor of Hamburg, Carsten Rinio. "There are certain objects that you are not allowed to carry with you without official authorization. Some objects fall within the scope of gun control and explosives laws," he told DW.

Stanslav's lawyer however is fighting a hard legal battle, arguing that the police had no reason to search his backpack in the first place, and that what was found in his backpack was purchased in Poland, so German seals of approval could not have been present.

"The pepper spray could be legal if you would have ordered it in Germany. Same with the firecrackers. The only reason is that there wasn't a German stamp on them," says Jonathan Burmeister as reported by DW.

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