Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeGlobalWeak attendance at the great demonstration against the G7 summit in Germany

Weak attendance at the great demonstration against the G7 summit in Germany

The policemen try to stop the demonstrators. / AFP

German security forces turn the meeting place into a fortress

The great protest demonstration in Munich against the G7 summit of heads of state and government that begins this Sunday at Schloss Elmau, in the Bavarian Alps, circulated through the streets of the Bavarian capital smaller than expected and with a visibly reduced attendance , to the surprise even of the security forces, who deployed more than 3,000 riot police to control it. In front of the 20,000 participants that had been announced, some 4,000 people gathered, according to police figures, while the organizers counted some 6,000. Much fewer people than in the meeting seven years ago, when the G7 summit was held in the same place. Even the feared “black bloc”, as the violent ultra-left activists are known, was reduced to the bare minimum. More than 3,000 were expected and only about 150 were counted.

There was some skirmish with the police when pyrotechnic material, banners with anti-constitutional texts or people who tried to march masked were located in the searches, but they did not go beyond mere anecdotes. The G7 countries must “issue a clear and determined signal against climate change, to end the destruction of nature, as well as against hunger, poverty and inequality,” protest organizers said in a joint statement. The participants carried banners and large posters against rearmament and deforestation, against war and crisis, against global warming and inflation, against the invasion of Ukraine, but also against capitalism or in favor of an independent Kurdistan.

The organization of the demonstration had made a previous call for non-violence and the approach of their demands through peaceful means. The German Minister of the Interior, the Social Democrat Nancy Faeser, had also asked in the early hours of the morning that the event take place peacefully. “I hope that all the demonstrators protest peacefully, that they do not injure anyone or destroy cars or shops,” the minister said in statements to the T-online portal, before which she expressed her concern about possible outbreaks of violence carried out by members of the called “black block”.

“Coronavirus, Climate, War – Taxes for the rich and overcome poverty”, read a large poster carried in their hands by big heads with the faces of the G7 leaders. Left-wing groups claimed in their written messages “Fight the G7 – Imperialism meets here.” A total of 15 environmental, anti-globalist and humanitarian groups, from Greenpeace to WWF, through Bread for the World or Misereor, had called to participate in the march with four central themes: the abandonment of fossil fuels, the conservation of diversity of fauna and flora, social justice throughout the planet and the fight against hunger. The demonstration began its march through the center of the Bavarian capital and ended in the meadows where Oktoberfest, the traditional beer festival, is usually held.

The G7 summit is being held, as it was seven years ago, in the luxurious hotel in Elmau, now converted into a fortress, due to the security guarantees offered by the small valley where it is located, located about 10 kilometers from the well-known ski resort from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. More than 18,000 soldiers, mostly policemen, but also special army forces such as mountain hunters, are deployed in the area to completely isolate the statesmen. To get to the meeting place, you have to pass twenty police checkpoints.

The police filters allow the passage of residents, supply companies or tourists with reservations in the area, but they prevent anyone who does not meet any of these premises from continuing on their way. The international press center has been set up in Garmisch, where a group of 700 protesters has also been allowed to set up camp for the duration of the summit, although they will be closely watched. The 90-kilometer highway that connects Garmisch with Munich and its airport and through which most of the delegations will travel has become a hive of police cars and motorcycles, who stop and control any suspicious vehicle.

Recent posts