St Pauli open doors to 200 anti-G20 protesters as director joins demo
St. Pauli have allowed 200 people protesting against the G20 as it holds its summit in Hamburg to set up camp at their Millerntor stadium, with former head coach and current director Ewald Lienen joining a demonstration.
The second-tier club, based in the vibrant Reeperbahn area of the port city, have established a reputation for having left-wing ideals in recent decades.
On Thursday, they said that 200 of up to 100,000 protesters expected to descend on the city could set up camp under the main stand of the Millerntor.
"The FC St.Pauli leadership sets a clear example for human rights, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate," a statement on the club's official website said.
The club said they felt the need to react after police "acted illegally to evict several camps in Hamburg" and because of a lack of sleeping places for those coming to Hamburg to protest.
On Wednesday night, Lienen joined a protest, displaying a banner reading: "Time for outrage against G20! Time to become involved!"
The leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies will be taking part in the summit on July 7 and 8.
Reuters reported that up to 20,000 police officers will be on duty to watch over the main protest on Thursday, which will be called "Welcome to Hell."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.