Protesters flood streets of Hamburg as G20 wraps up

Police escort a protest rally Saturday in Hamburg during the G20 summit.

Story highlights

  • Up to 50,00 people show up at G20 protests in German city, police estimate
  • The atmosphere is calm and peaceful -- in contrast to previous days of street violence

Hamburg, Germany (CNN)An eclectic and international mix of demonstrators peacefully tramped through the streets of Hamburg on Saturday, a show of anti-capitalist muscle in earshot of the world's top leaders who were finishing up at the G20 summit.

Up to 50,000 people turned out, police in the northern German city estimated.
    Waving flags, wielding banners and holding posters, they displayed their support for a slew of issues, including migrant rights, Kurdish independence, LGBT rights and environmental initiatives.
      Julian G., who lives in a Hamburg suburb, told CNN he was demonstrating for the rights of Turkish people who've lost their freedoms under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.
      "I want to stand with my friends in Turkey who are trapped in an authoritarian system and can't demonstrate freely," he said.
      Chinese human rights groups based in European countries called for the release of Chinese political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
      "We are free human beings and are going to fight, not only for all human rights in China but for the basic rights of all and humans across the world," said activist Tienchi Martin-Liao, president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center.

      Communal feel

      Saturday's turnout included two separate demonstrations that converged at one large meeting place.
      A festive and communal feel pervaded the crowds, with people holding climate change signs and feminism posters and grooving to music. Many came with family.
      Carolin Wolter, 25, who showed up with her daughter Levke, 5, said she's most concerned about how the G20 leaders address climate change.
      "It's the first main important issue to speak about, especially for my daughter, whose future lies in the decision of these leaders," Wolter said. "And that worries me."