Thousands gather at G7 protests
Thousands of protesters marched at G7 protests near the French coastal resort of Biarritz to demand action from world leaders.
Protesters descended on the town of Hendaye — on the French border with Spain — to protest against economic and climate policies pursued by the world’s leading industrial nations, Reuters news agency reported.
Anti-globalization protesters, environmental activists, yellow vest protesters and Basque separatists were among those in attendance, Reuters reported.
G7 summit protest organizers estimate 15,000 people took to the streets, according to a joint statement by umbrella protest organizers Alternatives G7 and G7Ez.
A spokesperson for the Prefecture des Pyrénées Atlantiques, however, told CNN they calculated an estimated 9,000 protesters at the height of the demonstration between the Hendaye and Irun areas.
The leaders of the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) began three days of talks in Biarritz on Saturday.
The G7 represents the world’s major economies, and has long been a regular stop on the US President’s calendar. The membership includes the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom. In small group sessions, with only the leaders and few aides present, the world’s major economic and geopolitical problems are discussed at length.
Police told CNN they had no figures yet on arrests on Saturday, but 17 protesters were detained the day before after undeclared demonstrations near Hendaye near where the G7 meeting is taking place.
Mortar fire and other projectiles were hurled at police and four officers were injured on Friday, the Prefecture of Pyrénées Atlantiques also said.
Police responded with flash grenades after warning protesters, local authorities added.
CNN’s Sandrine Amiel, Duarte Mendonca, Eva Tapiero and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.