Batons, fireworks and black face masks – so far, that’s all the Hamburg police has to show after checking more than 400 people on the approaches to the city’s Sternschanze area. Since, Saturday, they’ve been acting under powers to stop, search and check papers in so-called danger zones given them by a 2005 order.
The police have so far stopped around 100 people from remaining in the area. There’s been one arrest and 45 people were detained – most of them were on a “stroll through the danger zone” organized by activists on the Internet.
The trigger for the current unrest was the clashes during a December 21 demonstration by left-wing radicalsagainst the eviction of the Rote Flora cultural center. The center, in an anarchist squat, had existed for almost 25 years. Hundreds were injured in street violence following the demonstration.