Anti-capitalist G20 protesters take to French Riviera

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Thousands of anti-capitalists are to march through the streets of the French city of Nice on Tuesday to protest corporate greed ahead of the G20 summit in nearby Cannes, echoing protests worldwide.

"We refuse to give the powerful the right to impose their solutions on crises that they created. Alternative paths exist," said pamphlets distributed by the organisers of the protest march around the Mediterranean city.

Protesters from Germany, Spain and Italy began arriving Monday at the "Old Abattoir" cultural centre where a "People's Summit" is to be held at the same time as the summit of Group of 20 leaders in Cannes on Thursday and Friday.

Cannes itself is to be locked down during the summit, with protesters kept a safe distance away from the world leaders -- around 30 kilometres (20 miles) down the Mediterranean coast -- in Nice.

Groups including environmental advocates Greenpeace, Attac, the Human Rights League and anti-racism organisations are organising the march that is to begin around 1400 GMT, along with other environmental and left-wing groups.

Around 2,500 extra police have been drafted in to deal with the protest that organisers hope will draw 10,000 people.

But anyone thought to be associated with the so-called Black Bloc militant protests faces arrest if police find them anywhere in the region.

Besides the police presence, organisers will have one person out for every 100 demonstrators, or around 100 in total.

Paris obtained authorisation from Brussels to reintroduce customs and immigration checks on the Italian border to prevent troublemakers gaining entry after around 100 people were injured in violent protests in Rome on October 15.

Most shops are closed on Tuesday as it is a bank holiday in France for the Catholic feast of All Saints.

One of the protest's organisers, Franck Gaye, said ahead of the march that there would be no confrontation in Nice as anarchist movements "have called on supporters to go everywhere in France because there won't be security forces elsewhere."

On Thursday, some protesters will head to the principality of Monaco to "celebrate" the end of tax havens that had been announced at the 2009 G20 in London.

Anti-capitalism protests have sprung up in more than 80 countries in recent weeks, including a protest camp in the heart of London's City financial district, the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States and the Indignants protesters in Spain.

The protests are against what demonstrators consider an irresponsible financial system and for economic equality.

The leaders of the world's 20 biggest economic powerhouses, that between them generate around 85 percent of global output, are hoping to agree measures to head off the threat of global recession during their Cannes summit.

© 2011 AFP

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