Thousands riot over G-8 meet

first_imgGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will host the leaders of Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Russia, Canada and the U.S. for discussions on global warming, aid to Africa and the global economy. The summit, like past ones, is attracting protesters opposed to capitalism, globalization, the war in Iraq and the G-8 itself. Police have surrounded the summit site with a seven-mile-long fence topped with barbed wire, and closed the surrounding waters and airspace, fearing terrorism or disorderly protests like the ones that marred at 2001 summit in Genoa, Italy, where police and protesters clashed for days and one demonstrator was killed. Protests near the fence have been banned. In Rostock, the officially permitted demonstration began peacefully Saturday with two groups of marchers gathering at the waterfront. Clashes broke out near the end of the scheduled four-hour rally, as some people pried up paving stones and broke them into smaller pieces. Eventually, five large green police trucks with twin water cannons mounted on top moved in to blast the rioters. A police car was destroyed and several parked cars burned, spreading black smoke over the area. Protesters also torched a large blue recycling bin. Police spokesman Frank Scheulen estimated the number of violence-minded demonstrators at about 2,000. Police put the size of the demonstration at 25,000, while organizers said it was 80,000. ROSTOCK, Germany – Protesters with black hoods and bandannas covering their faces showered police with rocks and beer bottles Saturday, before the heavily armored officers drove them back with water cannons and tear gas during a rally against an upcoming Group of Eight summit. Black smoke from burning cars mingled with the sting of tear gas in the harbor-front area of the northern German town of Rostock, where tens of thousands of people had gathered peacefully at the start of the day. The clashes broke out among hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators and police on the edges of the crowd as the rally progressed. Some 146 police were hurt, 25 of them seriously. Police said they made 17 arrests. It was an unruly start to what is expected to be a week of rallies against the three-day G-8 summit beginning Wednesday in the fenced-off coastal resort of Heiligendamm, 14 miles from Rostock. Werner Raetz, an anti-globalization activist with Attac, one of the organizing groups, distanced himself from the violence: “There is no justification for these attacks.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img