About 4,000 protesters gathered in Munich as the Group of Seven leading economic powers prepared Saturday to hold their annual gathering in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, which holds the G-7′s rotating presidency this year, APA reports citing Associated Press.
Organizers had hoped to mobilize up to 20,000 protesters in the Bavarian city and were disappointed by the low turnout at Munich’s Theresienwiese park.
Uwe Hiksch, one of the protest organizers, theorized said that potential participants might consider it inappropriate to challenge the world’s wealthiest democracies during the Russia-Ukraine war.
“We have the impression that many people are unsettled by the war in Ukraine,” Hiksch said.
Seven years ago, 35,000 people participated in protests when the G-7 held a summit at the same site in Bavaria.
The G-7 leaders — from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — are expected to start arriving in Germany on Saturday afternoon. Their summit agenda includes issues such as Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change, energy and a looming food security crisis.
“Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine is also having an impact here,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a video podcast Saturday, referring to rising prices for groceries, gas and energy.
Fifteen groups critical of globalization, from the international Attac network to the environmental organization WWF, called on people to participate in demonstrations for this weekend’s summit.
Their demands included a phase-out of fossil fuels, the preservation of animal and plant diversity, social justice and a stepped-up fight against hunger.
“My demands for the G-7 are that they have a clear commitment to energy transition, that is, the exit from fossil fuels, all forms of fossil fuels, by 2035 at the latest, so we can stop financing wars and conflicts,” said Kilian Wolter from the environmental group Greenpeace.