I went to the anti G20 protest tonight in Hamburg. It was peaceful, we chilled, listening to Techno, had a beer. The march wasn’t allowed to start because the police stated that some protesters wete hooded and disguised. Not where I was standing, we were just wearing sunglasses because it was very sunny.

There was a black block somewhere in front of is, but even they stayed calm. Suddenly, the police went in, using pepper spray and truncheons. They wanted to arrest some people who were disguised. People started to flee in panic. It was a narrow street, so they could only escape by climbing over the harbour docks. Police went after them. We couldnt see much and stayed where we were, because we hadnt done anything, not even shouted insults. Suddenly, riot police was everywhere. We were pressed against a brick wall behind us, police in front of us. To our left, water canons started to shoot. We only escaped because next to us was a guy in a wheelchair. Police let him pass through their cordon and we ran after him, hands in the air. We ran until we reached a corner where some neighbours were gathering. Some girls intoned the imperial march every time police marched up and down the street. We talked to a kurdish family there who wanted to show their kids that one has to protest against dictators, and shared a beer with a queer female protester. After some time, we went up to Reeperbahn. Others we’re gathering there as well.

Eventually, after almost two hours, we were allowed to proceed and finally walk. It was totally peaceful, music was playing (I feel love and saturday night fever) and the worst shout I heard against the police was “Go away”. I think we were at least 10000 people.

In short, I was exercising my civil rights tonight, just being on the street, taking part in a peaceful demonstration, and was chased by a police force I pay with my tax money through the streets of my hometown, hands raised in the air, fearing at some point for my health and safety because of police violence.

This can’t be right.

VERNER PANTON, Swimming pool in the Spiegel Publishing House, Hamburg Germany, 1969