Police predicted that the protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, would become violent, and so far, that's been proven true.
While peaceful groups have staged sit-ins around the city in protest of the controversial world leaders at the meeting, other anti-fascist groups have begun rioting, even setting parked cars on fire.
It is only the first day of the summit, but protests against it began early in the week with one notable demonstration being an organized zombie apocalypse. They protests have continued to escalate, and law enforcement equipped with riot gear have used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse angry crowds.
CNN reported that 197 police officers have been injured out of the 17,000 currently on the ground, and local police departments have requested reinforcements from outside of Hamburg. Since the protests began, at least 83 people have been arrested and 17 detained.
Bloomberg reported that the protesters succeeded in delaying some of the leader's arrivals, including United States President Donald Trump, on Friday morning and prevented U.S. first lady Melania Trump from leaving her residence.
Some windows from the French delegation's hotel were smashed, and the area around the Elbphilharmonie, where world leaders will be attending a concert later on Friday, was ransacked. Police said masked protesters were burning cars and that law enforcement was attacked with Molotov cocktails.
“I have every understanding for peaceful demonstrations," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is hosting the summit. "But violent demonstrations put human lives in danger."
Both police and protesters are accusing each other of escalating the situation. Demonstrators are calling the methods used by law enforcement excessive, while police are insisting they are necessary. While the violence is debatable and hard to stomach, some organizers see it as a means to an end. The ultimate goal of these riots is to send a clear message to the governments the protesters believe are failing them.
“The most important thing is that a lot of people came together with the same interests,” explained Georg Kuemmel, part of left-wing organization the Socialist Alternative, to Bloomberg. “We won’t be able to stop the summit. There’s an army of 20,000 police. We can’t do it. But I would say it’s been a success."