G20 Hamburg – Demo Rave & Snatch Squads

Hamburg, Germany – Unicorn Riot spent their second day covering the events around the G20 Summit documenting a demonstration that was a moving dance party. After the crowd thinned, squads of police snatched and arrested protesters.

The event held July 5th was dubbed a “demo rave” and started near the harbor in Hamburg, Germany. Unicorn Riot livestreamed the action.

The mobile rave had multiple music trucks each with different types of music from Hip Hop to EDM. The moving dance party wound its way through Hamburg swelling to an estimated twenty thousand people. The police mostly kept their distance while thousands danced. The demo passed Rote Flora, a squat in Hamburg and was greeted with flares, colored smoke, and fireworks.

When the rave ended it had met riot police in the street and while for a moment things seemed on the verge of escalation, people inside the crowd kept it focused on dancing.

We spoke to people in the rave who said the day was about having fun and enjoying yourself. While people seemed willing to engage the police, people kept the focus on the music and dance. When dancers seemed intent on moving through the police lines, others would dance towards them and get them back to the music.

While today featured 20,000 people with thousands of riot police in town as well, things remained relatively calm until later into the night. When numbers thinned, police started sending snatch squads into the crowd who sprinted after people they seemed to target. Bottles once again shattered among the police.

Unicorn Riot witnessed multiple arrests as other people in crowd tried to remind people that the summit had yet to start. Rumors are that in the next days we will be witnessing one of the largest black blocs in history. Police already have flexed with armored vehicles and water cannons, but the rest of the weeks marks the day people say they will fight for the streets.

Watch our livestream coverage of the rave demo:


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