Hamburg: The society of control, lost control.
What would be to feel like a member of G20? Transferred from meeting to meeting by helicopter because the risk of driving through the city’s streets was simply too high. What about that view from the helicopter’s window that some of them saw?
By entering the city you felt that you entered into an Orwellian dystopia, considering the scale of the repressive state apparatus . City’s colour by the night was covered by blue, a blue which a police van was spreading somewhere in your visual field, no matter in which point of the city you were. Large convoys of police vans, usually more than 50, driving furiously through the streets made you wait in the crossroads until they pass. In every platform of a train station there were police officers, staring at the passenger’s faces: every passenger was a suspect. During all the days, the sound of the flying helicopters was on the background, even when you were sleeping.
The scale of the state propaganda was also impressive. Before the begging of the summit the state has managed to advertise very well the measures that it had taken. Shining brand-new water cannons were placed in the central nodes of the city, but most of all, the news that a new prison was specifically built for the summit, went viral even through the radical media.
In the information technology era, the police was trying to collect data form everywhere, data that some of the demonstrators generously share, as they are defending the right to demonstrate. Police patrols then were organized live through the data-processing algorithms.
Although the initial 10000 praetorians that were called in the city to guard it, soon they had to call for reinforcements. By Friday 07/07/2017 the police called for help, as the situation turned ungovernable. Tiny clusters of people were spread all around from city’s center to Schanze. One riot police unit, even had to make use of a flare in order to call for help. The next hours the amount of police doubled. Although police used one of its last cards to bring to the streets the special operation forces. The spectacle of their picture, fully armed with high-tech arms, was spread among the media accordingly for maximizing its repressive effect, but it wasn’t enough their spectacular image along with the force of the water cannons to reclaim the streets from the people.
Hundreds of thousands of people all the days of the demonstration reclaimed the streets. Who were they? simply a multitude; a multiplicity from local and international labor and middle class people along with some minorities such as Turks or Kurds. They reclaimed the streets, simply because they felt that they couldn’t be expressed in any different way.
Why? think global:
G20 is nothing more than an elite of governors on consecutive meetings for business and geostrategic plans. They think “why should there be the puppet show of the United Nations anymore, as we, the real decision makers, can have more time-efficient meetings between us?’
Hamburg cranes, on the background of the summit, served as huge installations symbolizing the extortive power of Germany. In the post-traumatic world after 2008 the extortive economy model provided Germany the undisputable dominance over the EU. An EU where democracy is a joke, and the pluralism in the political agenda is so broad that you can dedicate a life searching which type of neoliberalism is the best.
Although that is something observed also in the global perspective, such as a general cut down of any kind of welfare policies. In the post 2008 world the same pills that caused the disease are provided in order to treat it, although the form of governance has stabilized to a more state-of-emergency form, as the governments globally are justifying their actions referring to the 2008 world and to there-is-no-alternative policies.
Further in the current circumstances we have the rise of reactionary / quasi-fascist movements from Trump to Lepen, from Brexit to Hungary and from Turkey to Philippinnes. Note that the neo fascist government in Ukraine, which invested in a advertisement campaign in Hamburg during the summit in order to remind us which civilisation they are claiming that they are defending. In fact they are trying desperately to belong to the “West” a West which is a huge machine which is fed by blood and oil. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen are just some of the examples.
Think regarding every human
Take a closer look in the protestors, in their precarious lives. The Germans live in the most “successful” European state, by economic terms but still most of them are forced to live under uncertainty. Many of them are working in part time and mini jobs. The salaries many times are just good enough to cover the expensive rents in their continuously gentrified areas. They are experiencing one of the most successive technological booms, but they are they are experiencing a complete bust in terms of the standard of living. Maybe some of them could not have a job with these basic benefits such as the advertised police vacancies that were shown provocatively on the police vans of Hamburg. On top of that, based on the dominant individualistic based ideology, being so separated from one to each other, they experience their depression in their living conditions as personal failures.
In Hamburg this separation between the people didn’t existed. Maybe there was a flaming barricade on the end of the street, but the street behind that was full, the people were not afraid, they were smiling and laughing. they felt a joy, and that was their biggest sin.