French police fire tear gas, water cannons at anti-G7 protesters

By John Irish BAYONNE, France (Reuters) - French riot police used water cannons and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-capitalism protesters in Bayonne, near the resort of Biarritz where President Emmanuel Macron and G7 nation allies were meeting for a three-day summit. A police helicopter circled as dozens of protesters, some hurling stones, shouted slogans and abuse at the lines of police in the Basque town's historic centre.

Reuters August 25, 2019 02:10:20 IST
French police fire tear gas, water cannons at anti-G7 protesters

French police fire tear gas water cannons at antiG7 protesters

By John Irish

BAYONNE, France (Reuters) - French riot police used water cannons and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-capitalism protesters in Bayonne, near the resort of Biarritz where President Emmanuel Macron and G7 nation allies were meeting for a three-day summit.

A police helicopter circled as dozens of protesters, some hurling stones, shouted slogans and abuse at the lines of police in the Basque town's historic centre.

The protesters shouted "Everybody hates the police" and "anti, anti anti-capitalists" as the mood took a darker turn from peaceful protests earlier in the day in an authorised march on the French-Spanish border.

Roiled by months of anti-government protests this year, France has deployed more than 13,000 police to ensure protesters get nowhere near U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders. Authorities designated two counter-summit "villages" and the morning protest about 30 km (19 miles) from the summit.

Thousands of anti-globalisation activists, Basque separatists and "yellow vest" protesters walked from the French town of Hendaye to Irun in Spain, waving banners calling for climate action, gay rights and a fairer economic model.

"The top capitalist leaders are here and we have to show them that the fight continues," said Alain Missana, 48, an electrician wearing a yellow vest - symbol of the anti-government demonstrations that have been held in France for months.

"It's more money for the rich and nothing for the poor. We see the Amazonian forests burning and the Arctic melting. The leaders will hear us," he said.

Four police officers were lightly wounded on Friday after protesters fired a homemade mortar near the anti-G7 gathering in Hendaye. Police arrested 17 people for hiding their faces.

Activists in the counter-summit villages have this week united from France, the Basque region straddling the French-Spanish border and beyond to confront a rich-poor divide they say is growing due to the cynicism of world leaders.

"The counter-G7 demonstration is in this Basque region and we want people to see we are part of it," said Alfredo Akuna, a 46-year-old engineer from San Sebastián in northern Spain who wore traditional Basque clothing.

"We're involved in many movements including anti-capitalism and anti-fascism so it's important to be here to show that."

(Editing by Crispian Balmer and Ros Russell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.