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Police And Protesters Are Clashing In Germany Ahead Of The G20 Summit

German police blasted protesters with water cannons in Hamburg, Germany, as thousands marched in the street to protest the G20 summit. More the 70 officers were injured.

Last updated on July 6, 2017, at 6:48 p.m. ET

Posted on July 6, 2017, at 5:07 p.m. ET

World leaders, including US President Donald Trump, and banking officials from 20 of the largest economies in the world are gathering in Hamburg for the two-day G20 summit which kicks off on Friday — and protesters were waiting for them.

Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images

Hundreds of demonstrators — many from the so-called black bloc anarchist movement — rallied under the protest name "Welcome to Hell."

Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

Things escalated quickly, with protesters soon clashing with thousands of riot police in the streets.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

Hamburg city officials and police earlier tried to negotiate with demonstrators over the march, which was planned to circle around the St. Pauli neighborhood adjacent to the G20 venue. Police ultimately refused to allow the protesters to march unless they removed their black face masks.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

After an hour of discussion, negotiations broke down. Protesters then began flinging beer bottles and flares at authorities.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

Police responded with water cannons, gas, and stun grenades.

Alexander Koerner / Getty Images
Christof Stache / AFP / Getty Images

Police fire water cannons at protestors outside the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany

Protesters scrambled over walls to escape riot police.

BREAKING: 1000s of protesters and police clashing outside G20 in Hamburg; protesters fleeing over wall.

The demonstrators later broke apart into organized smaller groups, turning the streets of Hamburg into a violent game of hide-and-seek.

John Macdougall / AFP / Getty Images
Christophe Gateau / AFP / Getty Images

Police appeared more interested in disrupting and containing the protests than making arrests, often charging into groups of demonstrators to force them to flee or pull back.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images
Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

At times, police could be seen hitting and punching protesters thrown to the ground in a park close to the stadium of St. Pauli Football Club — only to move on to another group without making an arrest.

Christof Stache / AFP / Getty Images

Hamburg police did not immediately provide numbers on how many people were arrested.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

Hamburg officials, however, said 76 officers had been injured, and that two police helicopter pilots had been blinded by lasers on the ground.

Leon Neal / Getty Images

Protests have been taking place all week in Hamburg, but Thursday's "Welcome to Hell" demonstration was planned to be the biggest.

Christof Stache / AFP / Getty Images

One group of protesters — who refused to speak with BuzzFeed News — could be seen breaking up paving stones and filling backpacks with rocks, bottles, and road flares for what was expected to be a full night of clashes with police just hundreds of meters from the summit.

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images

BuzzFeed Germany Periscoped the protests:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.