An eclectic crowd of several thousand opponents of the G7 near Biarritz, in southwestern France, conducted a four-kilometer walk to Hendaye on Saturday to take them to the Spanish border town of Irun, an event authorized by authorities who feared overflows. The protesters - the organizers were hoping for "at least 10,000" - began in calm under a blue sky, in an area near the port of Hendaye, AFP reporters said.
Basque flags and anti-capitalist slogans
Many red, green and white Basque flags floated above the march, which mixed anti-capitalist, ecologists, alterglobalists, Basque sympathizers and a few dozen "yellow vests". The organizers, meanwhile, ensured not to fear violence. "We have a fairly substantial mediation service with 200 experienced, mostly Basque, activists," said a spokeswoman for ALternative G7, a counter-summit co-organizer, calling on "state forces to take responsibility ".
Friday evening, first clashes between police and demonstrators in Urrugne, near the camp where reside some of the opponents at the G7 summit. The police were fired from projectiles and used tear gas and defense ball launchers (LBD). Seventeen people were arrested, four policemen slightly injured and seven protesters supported by the approved civil protection services, the prefecture said.
5,000 people at the counter-summit, according to the organizers
According to the entourage of the organization of the counter-summit, 23 people were treated by "street medics", for conditions ranging from "the scratch to the projectile of LBD in the legs". Clashes that according to the organization, "do not tarnish the success of the counter-summit".
Completed Friday night after three days of debate, this counter-summit has gathered 5,000 people, say the organizers, Alternatives G7 and the Basque platform "G7 Ez" (No to G7). In total, more than 13,000 members of the police, supported by the army, were mobilized by the French government to ensure the safety of the summit and demonstrations.