Reportage by Piotr Pietrus from the Anti G7 protests held on June 6th. 2015 in Garmisch- Partenkirchen, Bavaria.
Over 20,000 police officers were on standby over fears that riots would break out, turning the alpine resort into a fortress. A crowd of around 7,000 protesters gathered together for a demonstration to express their opposition to the neoliberal policies of the G7 nations. Although it remained mostly peaceful, minor clashes with police broke out.
They responded violently when some demonstrators attempted to leave the official march route and break through barricades leading to the summit site, a nearby luxury hotel. By holding the G7 summit, Bavaria tried to present itself as a cosmopolitan and progressive state in Germany. People, protesters and press, doubting the sense of this extremely expensive (around 360 million Euros according to various news sources) event were repressed and intimidated in many ways by the authorities. A camp for the demonstrators was initially forbidden and only due to a trial on court was it allowed 2 days prior to the events. Police were constantly controlling arriving press and protesters, often for many hours. This excessive flexing of state power shows how bendable our freedom of speech in democratic western countries can be.
About the author:
Piotr Pietrus was born in Poland and lives and works in Berlin. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, in 2008. He went on to do a masterclass with Arno Fischer at the Ostkreuzschule, Berlin from 2008 until 2011. With a strong focus on his personal projects and portrait photography Piotr has exhibited his work in Berlin, New York, Hamburg and during the Photomonth in Krakow, Poland. He is member of the PICTURE BERLIN 2014/2015 staff.