Rostock: Tens of thousands protest against the G8
In the run-up to the G8 Summit next week, tens of thousands of anti-G8 protesters, with several thousands on the Black Bloc alone, took part in the international demonstration in Rostock on 2 June, 2007. With colourful banners and puppets, protesters of different backgrounds tried to draw attention to the bigger problem of capitalism and the 'empire'. Police was very aggressive and provocative, using batons, water cannons and tear gas, not only against the 'bad protestors' but 'normal' ones as well. Violent confrontations were taking place while, on stage, the concert and speeches were trying to continue. Over 100 people were arrested and many injured on both sides.
- 12:30: The demo coordination group said that all buses carrying protesters have arrived in Rostock without any police controls.
- 13:15: The big demo has started to march from the Rostock central train station.
- 13:45: Demonstrators at the Rostock central station are still preparing to march and will continue to do so for at least another 20 minutes. There are about 40 big puppets and two samba bands at the front of the march. A black bloc of several thousand people are on the march too. It was announced from the rally stage a while ago that Nazis are heading towards Rostock but not to worry.
- 15:00: Confrontations have kicked off on the Rostock march as it arrived in Am Strande street by the Harbour, where the concert is supposed to be held. Blocs of riot police rushed into the crowd for no apparent reason and split the mass into two parts, hitting people randomly. Some demonstrators reacted back by throwing stones, bottles and sticks. At least 5 injuries and over 10 arrests have been witnessed so far.
- 15:10: A group of 40-50 riot cops, who had charged into the demonstrators, were surrounded by people putting their hands up peacefully, while pushing towards them, until they drove them out of the crowd, but then the cops turned around and started hitting with their batons again. This hands-up pushing was repeated again a while later.
- 15:20: An ambulance was seen taking someone with injuries. Several injuries have been reported but no details yet. It is not only the so-called Black Bloc that is being attacked but also other 'normal' protesters.
- 15:30: Police have retreated to the edge of the harbour along the trees line, but are still charging into the crowd every now and then on that side of the demo. Several more people have been arrested and more injuries.
- 15:40: The situation seems to be calming down a little. There was an announcement from the stage that the music will be stopped until the police retreat and police have allegedly said they will.
- 16:10: Riot police units have charged into the crowd near the stage again and are now surrounded by people. Bottles and stones are being thrown at them.
- 16:15: Some 20 cops were seen at the Bramow train station, near Camp Rostock, and more police cars driving in that direction, presumably to conduct controls or arrest demonstrators coming back from the Rostock demo.
- 16:40: Police are withdrawing from the harbour area and water cannons are being taken away too.
- 17:30: Snatch squads in black gear with dogs were seen in Rostock shopping centre following a group of demonstrators who dispersed into the inner city. A 'check point' and stop-and-searches on Rosa Luxemburg St. and other main streets.
- 17:30: A water cannon and tear gas are being used by cops against the remaining demonstrators at the only exit from the rally area, so people are not able to leave although the speeches and music have stopped.
- 17:45: The demo organisers say some 80.000 people took part in the international demo today.
- 18:00: Police are using 5 water cannons in the festival area, and three additional ones in the streets, to extinguish on a burning car and burning barricades (made of garbage containers). A bigger group of people is being pushed away in the direction of the Speicher. The concert on the stage goes on with an audience of several thousands.
- 18:05: The concert has stopped.
- 18:15: The situation calms down somewhat. There are bigger groups of people in front of the stage and towards the Speicher. In between, police and water cannons. All roads to the city centre are closed in both directions. Polices forces from several federal states as well as the federal police are involved.
- 18:25: A cloud of tear gas could still be seen in the harbour area. Two water cannons are still there but not in action. Snatch squads are trying to single out people from the crowd or leaving groups to arrest them. Accesses and exits from the harbour area are only from the front and back, but not the lanes to the city centre any more.
- 18:40: The concert resumes. A lot of arrests and water cannons in action.
- 18:45: The concert is interrupted again.
- 19:20: Irie Révoltés are playing now. People are dancing the police out of the place.
- 19:35: The concert organisers want to continue with the concert anyway. The situation is calm now.
- 20:00: According to the Legal Teams, at least 100 were detained on the Rostock demo today.
- 20:45: Camp Rostock: About 200 people from Camp Rostock wanted to go and hold a solidarity protest at the prison where the people who were arrested earlier today are held. However, they were confronted with police and water cannons a few hundred meters outside the camp.
- 21:15: Camp Rostock: About 30-40 cops, 4 or 5 water cannons and one sweeping tank outside the camp, but no violent confrontations at the moment.
- 21:50: Camp Rostock: Police are said to be retreating now.