GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN — H undreds of protesters marched in the southern German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Sunday, near where leaders of the Group of Seven countries are meeting, demanding action on climate change.
Leaders of the G7 – the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan – started a three-day summit on Sunday at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian mountains, set to be dominated by the war in Ukraine.
Under a banner reading “Global Justice, Saving Climate Instead of Arming” several speakers addressed a crowd of protesters, calling for more action to fight climate change.
“I’m protesting here today for climate justice and for the right decisions to be made so that I have a future,” said Theresa Stoeckl, one of the protesters.
Seven of the protesters, holding an Oxfam banner which said “Stop Burning Our Planet,” were wearing traditional Bavarian costumes and masks depicting the G7 leaders. They clutched beer mugs while holding a model of the earth over a barbecue grill.
Benedikt Doennwagen said: “Seven heads of government from different countries negotiate about the entire world. And we have already seen before that what they negotiate is not always to the benefit of the entire world.”
Another protester Erich Utz said the G7 leaders should include young people in the summit and its decisions.
“I’m 17 years old – there are people sitting there who are four times my age, discussing my future without asking any young people what we want even once,” Utz said.
Around 1,000 people were expected to take part in the protest but police said there were 250 people at Sunday’s demonstration.
“We assume that there will probably be more. But we’ll just have to wait and see,” police spokesperson Carolin Englert told Reuters.
A group of women protesters, wearing rose garlands and waving Ukrainian flags, held a pro-Ukraine rally on the sidelines of the G7 protests calling for a complete embargo against Russia.
“We are here to remind the public and somehow the heads of state of the G7 states meeting here that the war in Ukraine is still ongoing,” said Ilya Bakhovskyy.
Some 4,000 people marched in Munich on Saturday calling on G7 leaders to take action to fight poverty, climate change and world hunger.
Greenpeace activists projected a giant peace symbol on top of Waxenstein mountain near to Schloss Elmau late on Saturday to send a pro-peace and anti-fossil fuel message to the G7 summit.
On Monday a small group of protesters will be allowed to hold a rally 500 meters from the castle where the G7 summit is taking place.
(Reporting by Oliver Barth, Timm Reichert and Max Schwarz Writing by Riham Alkousaa. Editing by Jane Merriman)