Protesters vs G-7 tear gassed
FRENCH police used tear gas and water cannon to break up anti-G7 protesters in the southern city of Bayonne on Saturday, as leaders from the world’s leading industrialised nations arrived for their summit just a few kilometres away in Biarritz.
Since Monday, anticapitalist activists, environmentalists and other anti-globalisation groups have been flocking to a counter-summit in southwestern France that organisers insisted would be peaceful.
More than 9,000 antiG7 protesters took part in the largest protest on Saturday -- a mass march over a bridge linking France and Spain that took place without incident.
However the atmosphere was more hostile in Bayonne, where hundreds of protesters chanting anticapitalist slogans did not seem to follow a route, instead wandering the streets trying to find a way into the city centre.
However the police, who were deployed en masse in the city, put up a barricade blocking their path.
The protesters tried to get through the barricade and police faced them down for more than an hour, according to AFP journalists.