In the early afternoon a few people relax here at this pompous (built in 1937...) fountain in Munich's city center. After some cold and rainy weeks this feels like the first day of summer and so most of them enjoy the sun and the fresh water. The next beer garden is just a few meters away behind the trees, just in case one wants to rest in the shadows or quench the thirst. Nothing new
here. Welcome to Munich.
Facing the Old Botanical Garden you can see the Justizpalast ("Palace of Justice") right across the street. The building is not only a courthouse but also the seat of the Bavarian Department of Justice. But why is the street in front of it (as well as all the other streets around) stacked with police cars? In the following days police units from all over the country were deployed to make sure no citizen is e.g. militantly blocking a street by just sitting down. As a rule of thumb a modern democratic government today seems to need about 20,000 police men and women so "world leaders" won't be disturbed by democratic protests. For this particular demonstration in Munich the police force was reported to be 3,000 strong, most of them in riot gear. Look around to see what kind of people actually took part at the demonstration half an hour later.
Up to 40,000 people from all parts of the society united in an impressive protest march against the G7 summit. People "like you and me" declared their anger about topics like summit costs (a reported sum of more than 300,000,000 Euro to host a hand full of politicians for a weekend), non transparent TTIP negotiations, genetically modified food, or half-hearted measures against hunger and deseases.