Activists file court challenge G-8 protest ban

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 May 2007, BERLIN (AP) _ Anti-globalization activists filed a court challenge against a police ban on protests near the site of the June 6-8 Group of Eight summit in Germany.

21 May 2007

BERLIN (AP) _ Anti-globalization activists filed a court challenge against a police ban on protests near the site of the June 6-8 Group of Eight summit in Germany.

Police earlier this week issued an order banning public gatherings and protests within 200 meters (yards) of a fence built around the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm from May 30-June 8.

An alliance of activist groups said it filed an appeal at an administrative court in the northeastern city of Schwerin, and expects a decision around the end of next week.

The activists are threatening to take their case all the way to federal courts.

"We will exhaust the legal avenue completely," said Markus Steinhagen, a spokesman for the Gipfelsoli Infogruppe umbrella group.

The protest ban, aimed at preventing activists from blockading the summit or storming the Heiligendamm fence, also applies to a few other areas, such as the airport of nearby Rostock.

The 12.5 million-euro ($17 million) fence is central to authorities' hopes of keeping protesters well away from the gathering of leaders of the world's leading industrial countries, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 2.5-meter (8-foot) -tall fence of metal and concrete surrounds the sea resort.

Last week, officials cracked down on anti-globalization activists they fear could resort to firebombings and other violence during the summit, searching offices and seizing computers under anti-terrorism laws. They also announced plans to tighten border controls.

AP

Subject: German news

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