News in Brief

Militant Opposition Expressed Against Meeting of G7 in France

March against the G7 from Hendaye, France to Irun, Spain, August 24, 2019.

Militant opposition  accompanied the 45th G7 summit held August 24 to 26, 2019, in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. Thousands  of activists from different countries, generations and sectors participated in the mobilizations held prior to the summit, which culminated with a demonstration on Saturday, August 24 against the Summit and one on August 25 against the "Bunkerization of Biarritz."

The four-kilometre march on August 24 departed before noon from Hendaye, a town in the French Basque country, and ended in Irún, in neighbouring Spain.

Flags, banners, slogans, music and the effigies of the seven G7 country leaders (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) raised demands for peace, harmony with the environment, solidarity, tolerance and inclusive development.

French riot police fired tear gas at protesters in Bayonne, a town eight kilometres from Biarritz, the luxury resort where the G7 Summit took place. The gendarmes were reported to have used GLI F4 grenades to disperse the crowd and police also used water cannons on demonstrators in the planned marches. The police were described as having "lost all abandon" in their assaults on the protestors, as helicopters whirled overhead. More than 13,000 police officers were employed to guard G7 leaders, turning Biarritz  into a fortress.

Earlier, thousands of environmental activists, human rights defenders, social activists, people from the Basque Country and Yellow Vest protesters marched peacefully across France's border with Spain to demand action, from climate change initiatives to anti-neoliberal programs.

The Gipuzkoa Fairground (Ficoba) in Irún was the centre of the counter-summit held the week prior to the G7 Summit. The counter-summit in which hundreds of activists participated, included dozens of conferences and workshops that facilitated debate on the nefarious consequences of the neo-liberal offensive of moribund capitalism, the impact of transnationals on people's lives  and the actions of struggle to seek an alternative world. Climate change, wars, economic and social crises, forced migration and inequalities were  some of the problems that  the more than 100 organizations present addressed. At the opening of the counter-summit, the participants declared that the few should not continue to assume that they can govern the destinies of the international community.

Counter-summit in Irún, Spain centred around the Gipuzkoa Fairground.

Hendaye and Urrugne, another town in the French Basque country, also hosted activities which rejected the G7 meeting in Biarritz.

(Photos: G7 EZ, Global Project, Y. Levi, H. Lucas, EFE, Breakaway)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 25 - August 31, 2019

Article Link:
News in Brief: Militant Opposition Expressed Against Meeting of G7 in France


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