German riot police used brute force to push back against a throng of protesters who gathered in Munich where the high-profile security conference is taking place. The overnight stand-off was caught on film.
Numerous protesters, among them members of the German Antifa movement, scuffled with police on Friday night. Some of them aggressively pushed the officers away, while others held firecrackers and waved flags.
Protesters say the conference is “a meeting of war strategists” where weapon manufacturers negotiate deals, local media reports.
This year’s Munich Security Conference will gather more than 35 heads of state or government, as well as over 100 foreign and defense ministers. French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are among those expected to speak at the event.
It takes place following a rather bumpy start to the year, plagued by the spiraling US-Iran confrontation and Brexit among other things. The previous year was also rough at times for the Transatlantic community, with President Macron openly speaking about the “brain death” of NATO, whose mutual defense clause was called into question.
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Ahead of the conference, the organizers published a report saying the West is “becoming less Western,” as countries across Europe and beyond are uncertain about their values and political course.
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