A total of 13,200 police and gendarmes, supported by military forces, were mobilized to ensure the safety of the G7 in Biarritz this weekend, said the French Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner.
"We will not tolerate any overflow, if they occur, we will respond," added the Minister, traveling to the seaside town of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques where the summit will be held from August 24 to 26.
The G7, said the minister, is the potential object of "three major threats", starting with "violent individuals that I do not confuse with peaceful protesters". In fact, the French authorities seek to avoid clashes between anti-capitalist protesters and the police, as was the case in previous G7 summit meetings, notably in Genoa in 2001, where the clashes resulted in one death and more than 500 injured.
While some 30 km from Biarritz, Irun, Spain, and Hendaye, France, anti-capitalist and anti-globalizationalists hold a counter-summit where several actions are planned, activists fear that the security reinforcement will impede their freedom to manifest.
Between 5,000 and 10,000 people are expected at the counter-summit for a mobilization that the organizers promise peaceful.