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Thousands protest G7 summit

By Associated Press in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-08 07:47

Thousands of demonstrators packed a German Alpine resort town on Saturday to demonstrate over a wide range of causes, from climate change to free trade, before the arrival of the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies for a two-day summit.

Though the demonstration in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was largely peaceful, a small group of protesters clashed with police during a march through the town. They charged officers, who responded with pepper spray, and at least two protesters had to be taken away by medics for treatment. Police said one officer was also injured by the pepper spray. There were no arrests.

During the demonstration, black-clad anarchists chanted slogans against police violence, anti-capitalists held signs denouncing a proposed trans-Atlantic trade deal, while peace protesters waved rainbow flags and signs with anti-war slogans.

Protester Monika Lambert said she had come "to exercise my democratic rights to say that everything the G-7 decides is in the interest of the banks and capitalists".

Lambert, from the Bavarian city of Erlangen, said Germany's history has shown that it's important to speak out.

"I asked my parents what they did during the Nazi period and they did nothing," she said. "I don't want to tell my children and grandchildren the same thing."

About 2,000 protesters marched to the railway station from their camp on the outskirts of town for the midday demonstration and were joined by thousands of others, including many families and children.

Bavarian Michael Wildmoser carried a sign with communist slogans.

"Too many young people are being exploited in low-paid jobs," he said. "This situation can't go on."

The police had 22,000 officers from around Germany on hand, keeping tight control on the demonstrations.

One group of about 30 protesters dressed as clowns, taunting police by getting up close and personal, dusting their boots with feather dusters, pretending to listen in on their conversations and making sexual innuendos.

The protesters' spokesman, Simon Ernst said they wanted to show their anger at the leaders of Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Britain, Canada and Japan, calling them "the henchmen of bankers and corporations".

 Thousands protest G7 summit

Anti G7-protesters march with a giant skull-like octopus labeled "G7" in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Saturday, ahead of the G7 summit at Elmau Castle on Sunday and Monday. Robert Michael / Agence France-Presse


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