Thousands plan anti-G8 protest before France summit

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Up to 10,000 protestors will hold an anti-G8 demonstration in northwestern France this month a week before the power grouping's summit, organisers said.

Labour unions, left-wing parties and anti-globalisation campaigners will throng the seaside streets of Le Havre on May 21, a week before world leaders gather in nearby Deauville, said Christian Pigeon of the union Solidaires.

The summit is set to tackle world economic reforms and is also a chance for French President Nicolas Sarkozy to boost his flagging popularity at home.

"We are expecting 5,000 to 10,000 people for a festive and dynamic demonstration aimed at pointing out to the leaders of this world their contradictions," Pigeon said.

Organisers will provide their own stewards to keep order, he added. Local police declined to say how many officers would be sent to patrol the protest.

The demonstration will be followed by a meeting on economic austerity measures in Europe, rebellions in the Arab world and the nuclear disaster in Japan, and a music concert on the Saturday evening.

© 2011 AFP

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