Trudeau to ap­peal to G20 pro­test­ers as chaos reigns in Ham­burg be­fore meet­ings

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - BY MIA RABSON

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways will be tested over the next few days amid ten­sions both in­side and out­side the gates of the G20 sum­mit in Ger­many.

Trudeau ar­rived in the north­ern port city of Ham­burg just hours be­fore U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, whose pro­tec­tion­ist rhetoric and stance against cli­mate change ac­tion pose a threat to much of the G20’s re­cent progress.

But in the min­utes after Trudeau touched down, all the fo­cus was on his three-year-old son, Hadrien.

After de­scend­ing from the plane while swing­ing from his par­ents’ arms, Hadrien walked proudly down the red car­pet clutch­ing the bou­quet of flow­ers Ger­man of­fi­cials ini­tially pre­sented to his mother, So­phie Gre­goire Trudeau.

It was a fun di­ver­sion to kick off Trudeau’s visit to Ger­many, but will likely be the last easy­go­ing mo­ment of the next few ten­sion-filled days.

Tens of thou­sands of antiglob­al­iza­tion pro­test­ers have de­scended on the city to dis­rupt the meet­ings, and have al­ready set fire to a Porsche dealership.

Trudeau has been called on to ap­peal to the pro­test­ers at Thurs­day night’s rock con­cert in Ham­burg, where he will give a short speech pro­mot­ing the ben­e­fits of global co-op­er­a­tion be­yond cor­po­ra­tions and the world’s rich­est cit­i­zens.

In­side the meet­ings, ten­sions will flare around ev­ery­thing from cli­mate change to free trade deals, but much of the ac­tion is ex­pected in one-on-one meet­ings be­tween var­i­ous lead­ers — to say noth­ing of the muchan­tic­i­pated Fri­day head-to-head be­tween Trump and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

Trump was to meet later Thurs­day with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, with whom he shares a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship. Merkel has made no se­cret of her plan to iso­late Trump and his anti-cli­mate change stance dur­ing the meet­ings.

Po­lice have cor­doned off the zone around the con­ven­tion cen­tre where the meet­ing will take place; 20,000 of­fi­cers are in Ham­burg to try and con­trol the melee.

Fences topped with ra­zor wire sur­round the zone, as well as the rail­way tracks that lead through it, while of­fi­cers stand sen­try on ev­ery street around the fa­cil­ity.

The pro­test­ers have la­belled their event “G20: Wel­come to Hell” and hope to cut off ac­cess to the site, know­ing full well they won’t be able to keep the lead­ers out. Of­fi­cials and me­dia crews aim­ing to cover the event might not be so lucky.

The con­cert at the Global Cit­i­zens Fes­ti­val, which is call­ing for an end to ex­treme global poverty by 2030, will see Trudeau in­tro­duce the band Cold­play, as well as speak di­rectly to pro­test­ers and pro­tec­tion­ists about the ben­e­fits of glob­al­iza­tion to small busi­ness and work­ing people.

It was a mes­sage he de­liv­ered in Ire­land ear­lier this week and one he has pushed since be­com­ing prime min­is­ter.

Ar­gen­tine Pres­i­dent Mauricio Macri and Nor­we­gian Prime Min­is­ter Erna Sol­berg are also on the agenda for the con­cert.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau his wife So­phie Gre­goire and their son Hadrien wave as they ar­rive for the G20 sum­mit Thurs­day in Ham­burg, Ger­many.

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