11:21 GMT24 September 2020
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    The Hamburg-based football club St. Pauli has opened its doors to hundreds of anti-G20 protestors looking for a place to set up camp.

    Up to 200 anti-G20 protestors will be allowed to camp in the stadium of local football club St. Pauli, the club has announced.

    "In the past few days, we have received a lot of requests about the possibility of opening our stadium as there is a great need for places to sleep. Since we as a club hold the position that the right to demonstration and freedom of expression are important values, we want to give people the opportunity to come here to rest and sleep. In consultation with the organizers of the camp in Entenwerder, we have made relatively spontaneous arrangements for 200 people to sleep here," club spokesman Christoph Pieper said.

    #G20HAM FC St. Pauli öffnet seine Tore für die Demonstranten: Wir sind ein politischer Verein und setzen uns für Versammlungsfreiheit ein pic.twitter.com/PdrvvEDIGP

    "#G20HAM FC St. Pauli opens its doors for the demonstrators: 'We are a political club and are committed to freedom of assembly​,'" Sputnik correspondent Ilona Pfeffer tweeted.

    While the territory of the football club is private property, the club is in contact with police about the arrangement, Pieper told Sputnik Deutschland.

    At the stadium, Sputnik's correspondent observed a large number of people with tents and luggage. The club let people into the stadium without checking their belongings or identification.

    "We are not going to carry out any controls or checks of the people here," Peiper said, explaining that the club wants to support the right of protestors to make their voice heard.

    "FC St. Pauli is a political club, that is clear. We hold a clear stance and the right to demonstrate is an important and protected right. Since this corresponds to our values, we are just doing what we stand for," the spokesman explained.

    Over 100,000 protestors have descended on Hamburg for the G20 summit of leaders, finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 of the world's biggest economies, which started in Hamburg on Friday. 

    Protestors belonging to various groups organized peaceful and violent demonstrations ahead of the summit. For example, charities like Oxfam organized protest marches against social inequality, while the "Welcome to Hell" rally on Thursday evening was attended by tens of thousands of anti-capitalist protestors and ended in clashes with police in which over 100 officers were injured.


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    football club, anti-capitalism, stadium, demonstration, protest, Germany, Hamburg
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