Protesters clash with police at G8 summit in Germany
6 June 2007, Heiligendamm, Germany (dpa) - Up to 10,000 anti- globalization protesters blocked roads Wednesday and gathered at a fence around the Heiligendamm venue for the G8 summit in Germany, in spite of a court-upheld ban on protests. Police used tear-gas and water-jets from special anti-riot trucks to drive part of the crowd back from the welded-mesh, steel fence erected at a radius of 2 kilometres from the summit hotel. The demonstrators ignored a legal ban on close-up protests, although it was confi
6 June 2007
Heiligendamm, Germany (dpa) - Up to 10,000 anti- globalization protesters blocked roads Wednesday and gathered at a fence around the Heiligendamm venue for the G8 summit in Germany, in spite of a court-upheld ban on protests.
Police used tear-gas and water-jets from special anti-riot trucks to drive part of the crowd back from the welded-mesh, steel fence erected at a radius of 2 kilometres from the summit hotel.
The demonstrators ignored a legal ban on close-up protests, although it was confirmed at midday by German constitutional court judges in the southern city of Karlsruhe.
Police said water cannon parked at the perimeter fence were used after stones were thrown at police from a crowd of about 800 near the main access gate. Another group of 300 approached a second of two gates.
Police used water jets and tear gas to clear thousands of protesters off Highway 105 which runs past Heiligendamm at a distance of about 6 kilometres.
The protesters also sat down on a coastal lane leading into Heiligendamm from the east and an antique steam railway on the coastline from the west, forcing organizers to transport reporters to the venue on Germany Navy boats.
Another sit-down protest halted traffic on the autobahn near Rostock Airport, where the non-German delegations were landing Wednesday to travel to Heiligendamm by road.
Exultant demonstrators voiced surprise that the police had not stopped them. Organizers said they had 10,000 protesters on the move in the countryside near Heiligendamm to disrupt the summit.
"We just walked over the fields where the water-cannon couldn't follow us," said a spokeswoman for the protest group Block G8, which regards the summit as illegitimate.
A police spokesman denied the special summit police force, which had met frequently beforehand with protest organizers, had been surprised by the invasion. Police said about 8,000 protesters were in the fields and woods.
An adequate number of officers was at the scene to protect the fence from being breached, the spokesman said. The summit police force, drawn from several German states, numbers 16,000.
Police helicopters flew in reinforcements and evacuated an unspecified number of injured officers.
The demonstrators had swarmed out of their tent villages near the exclusive Baltic beach resort and marched through fields and woods to bypass police road-blocks several hours before the summit was to begin.
The protesters, hailing from several European nations, were mainly in their 20s, many wearing colourful casual dress or humourous costumes, but a few wearing the hoods and the black clothes that mark out militants.
Two Spanish students aged 20 and 21 were meanwhile sent to jail at a summary trial for their part in an anti-G8 riot four days earlier in the port city of Rostock.
The younger man was given nine months for throwing stones at police and the elder ten months because one of the stones actually hit an officer. Defence lawyers said they would appeal against the convictions.
The previous day, the first rioter to be convicted, a 31-year-old, received 10 months on similar charges.
An estimated 2,000 black-clad protesters fought with riot police Saturday.
Subject: German news