Thousands of demonstrators have descended on southern Germany as world leaders gather there to discuss a wide range of economic and social policies at the Group of Seven summit that begins in the mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen Sunday. Atop the agenda at the two-day meeting are a major trade agreement, an international fund to help poorer countries address climate change and efforts to choke the flow of money to terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group, formerly known as either ISIL or ISIS.
The protesters represented mostly far-left interests and advocated for everything from environmental protections to reforms that would dampen the political power of the world’s wealthiest financial institutions, Agence France-Presse reported. They held pro-environment and anti-globalization demonstrations in Munich Thursday.
The demonstrators, whose number was estimated at between 4,000 and 8,000, were easily outmatched by the 22,000 police officers who lined the streets to monitor the protests Saturday. The activity remained mostly peaceful, although officers, some equipped with riot gear, did use pepper spray on at least one occasion after protesters attacked them with a flagpole and fuel bottles, the German news service Deutsche Welle said.
â€” Polizei Bayern - G7 (@g7polizei) June 6, 2015
â€” Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) June 6, 2015
â€” Harry Fear (@harryfear) June 6, 2015
In other photographs of the event, demonstrators dressed as clowns blow bubbles and brandish hand puppets at the officers. Other protesters brought tents and camped out in a field next to the German Alps, AFP reported. Still others dressed in traditional garb and danced to music on the streets.
The G-7 encompasses Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. Russia, a participant in the summits since 1997, will not allowed to attend for the second consecutive year because of strained international relations over its annexation of Crimea and alleged involvement in Ukraine.
The U.S. Army warned personnel stationed in Germany to stay away from the area where the summit is being held for fear American soldiers might become a target for anti-globalization protesters, the Telegraph reported.