Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hillary Comes to Town

As we're sitting in a very nice Italian restaurant having a late breakfast, Polizei on foot and in many vans start arriving in the Platz in front of us. It appears to be related to the Hillary/World Minister's annual World Security meeting being held here in Munich but it's not clear yet how the show of force relates. Polizei are outfitted in riot gear.
It's a very warm and sunny day and spirits are pretty relaxed, given all the hardware in view. Even the apparent undercover guy is looking laid back.

Jimi is watching the whole scene from a store window. Anything "New York," "Woodstock," or "Levi's" commands a premium price in the clothing stores here.Levi jeans run over $100 a pair. Hillary gets the full treatment and it must be costing a fortune.

The demonstration arrives-there are Polizei blocking off streets, in full riot gear and trying to look nonchalant in plainclothes. Quite a scene. The Egypt situation is featured prominently.

Calls for greater security are made. Apparently not much trust in NATO or the US from this crowd.

The Polizei march along with the protesters here-there are hundreds if not thousands of them. It's all very orderly-also very loud with protesters in huge loudspeaker trucks.

These speakers are bone rattling.

Pulled by a tractor. Rattling my fillings.

This is one of my favorite street shots ever. Got lucky.

Here's one more from the Demo. Below is a link to the HuffingtonPost Hillary in Munich article (in English) and the  local paper. You might be able to translate the German through Google but the pictures in the paper tell the story. It's quite a scene: Major streets closed off, Trams diverted ( a possible first), lots of black Mercedes S Class with tinted windows cruising around, full riot gear in full display all over the city. Meanwhile, the streets of Munich are totally packed with shoppers and strollers having a great time with the warm weather, sun and very unwinterlike conditions. Global warming has been good so far to Munich. It was more crowded here on the streets this weekend than during the Christmas rush.

Stacked up in Odeonplatz.

This is usually an empty square next to the Residenz -except for the tourists and flower sellers. It was here that Hitler was arrested in 1936 for attempting a coup.

Across from the earlier mentioned Michael Jackson memorial, this is the epicenter of the International Security Summit. I had hoped to run into Hillary the same way I did on the streets of Woodstock, but it was not to be.

Fenced off-or is it fenced in?

People with clearance.

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