G7 summit protesters and Yellow vests are blasted with water cannons and tear gas as 68 arrested in violent scenes

FRENCH riot cops fired a water cannon and tear gas at crowds protesting against the G7 summit as violent clashes erupted.

At least 68 demonstrators were arrested in chaotic scenes in Bayonne as world leaders gathered in nearby Biarritz on Saturday.

Riot cops fired a water cannon and tear gas at G7 protesters in France
AFP or licensors

Riot cops fired a water cannon and tear gas at G7 protesters in France[/caption]

AFP or licensors

Thousands of anti-globalisation activists, Basque separatists and ‘yellow vest’ protesters joined forces to march on the summit.

French officials say those detained are accused of throwing projectiles, concealing their faces or possessing objects that could be used as weapons.

Police fired tear gas, water cannon and dispersion grenades at a crowd of about 400 mostly peaceful anti-capitalism demonstrators on Saturday.

No injuries were reported in the skirmishes, reports claim.

The clash took place near a bridge barricaded by police as part of extensive security measures around the G7 summit.

Earlier on Saturday thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully to the Spanish border to demand more action against climate change and economic inequality.

Four police officers were lightly wounded on Friday after protesters fired a homemade mortar near the anti-G7 gathering in Hendaye.

A ring of steel has been set up around the site where seven world leaders – including Donald Trump and Boris Johnson – have met for a weekend of talks in Biarritz.

Surfers were moved on from the waters off the resort coast and French military were seen carrying out a de-mining sweep on the beaches nearby.

Cops on motorbikes are patrolling the streets of the southern France seaside town, as cars are thoroughly checked and the resort has been left almost deserted.

In 2018, protest groups in Quebec focused on global trade, the environment, migration, aboriginal rights and a number of other issues.

A coalition organised “a mass demonstration against the G7, capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, racism and borders”.

Also known as the Group of Seven, these countries are the seven largest economies of the world.

Together, they represent more than 62 per cent of the global net wealth ($280trillion).

The group was founded in the early 1970s as the seven countries discussed concerns about the collapse of the oil industry.

Since then, 43 summits have been held across the globe as members discuss everything from the environment to the economy.

The group was previously known as the G8 and counted Russia among its members, but Russia has been excluded since annexing the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in early 2014.

Issues on the agenda at the G7 include the global economy, tackling inequality and responding to the challenges of the digital age and the rise of artificial intelligence.

Mr Macron also called for leaders to address the destruction in the Amazon, telling the G7 “our house is burning”.

Mr Johnson said the UK would “never flinch” from its responsibilities as a leading international nation and part of the G7 – which also comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

He said: “My message to G7 leaders this week is this: the Britain I lead will be an international, outward-looking, self-confident nation.

“We will be an energetic partner on the world stage. We will stand alongside our G7 allies to solve the most pressing international issues.”

AP:Associated Press

Activists march along a road near a tent camp near Hendaye, France[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Protesters detained by French police on the side of a road near a tent camp[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Anti-G7 protesters attend a protest march on the French-Spanish border[/caption]

Reuters

A group of activists march ahead of the start of the G7 summit[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Cops patrol the water around the seaside town ahead of the summit[/caption]

Reuters

Armed guards are keeping the town quiet and trouble-free today[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Armed cops preparing to break up a barricade made by protesters before US President Donald Trump joins host French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy[/caption]

French military perform a de-mining sweep along the beach inside the red zone with the G7 summit venue in the background
AP:Associated Press

AP:Associated Press

A ring of steel has been set up around the southern French seaside town of Biarritz[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Protesters are detained as they marched along a road towards the summit site[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

French police officers prepare to fire teargas toward anti-G7 activist[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Activists holding a French flag from an activists, during a march along a road near a tent camp near Hendaye[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Extra officers have been drafted in to ensure the summit goes ahead without a hitch this weekend[/caption]


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