Hamburg to hold free concert to thank G20 police officers

Policemen secure the area around the Elbphilharmonie concert hall on July 7.

(CNN)The Hamburg concert hall that hosted Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin last week will open its doors for free on Thursday to some of the 20,000 German police officers who were deployed during the G20 summit.

All 2,000 seats in the Elbphilharmonie will be taken by police officers from the region and their partners for a concert featuring pianist Sebastian Knauer and other performers.
According to Hamburg Police, 476 officers were injured during the three days of rallies and riots, when thousands of protesters converged on the summit of world leaders to demonstrate against capitalism and demand action on key issues including climate change and migrants' rights.
    The concert "is a marvellous signal of recognition and respect for the extremely tough service the police had to through during the G20 summit," protest organizer Nicholas Hill from the 'Hamburg zeigt Haltung' (Hamburg shows attitude) march told CNN in an email.
    "And it shows the attitude of the real Hamburg: a true, peaceful and solidarity city."

    A 'symbol of gratitude'

    A petition was launched Saturday calling for the Elbphilharmonie to put on a "special concert" for the police deployed during the summit. Regional newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt is now organizing the event.
    Many of the anti-G20 protests were peaceful, but some demonstrators turned to violence.
    A back-page photograph of some of the police deployed in Hamburg with the headline "Danke" (Thank you) in Monday's edition prompted hundreds of emails and phone calls from locals and foreigners alike offering thanks and support, according to a spokesperson for the newspaper.
    A Hamburg department store is offering police a 20% discount on all goods, while hotels and restaurants around the city have announced free accommodation and special offers. Officers can enjoy a free visit to a local driving range, a zoo, a tropical aquarium and the Hamburg dungeon.