Heavy police presence for G7 as protesters stage colourful demonstrations

Protestors and police officers clash duirng a protest in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 6, 2015. Police reported isolated incidents and in one case deployed pepper spray to disperse some protesters, but the demonstration against the G7
Protestors and police officers clash duirng a protest in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 6, 2015. Police reported isolated incidents and in one case deployed pepper spray to disperse some protesters, but the demonstration against the G7 meeting in the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen was mainly good-natured. -- PHOTO: EPA

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AFP) - Around 4,000 people staged colourful and largely peaceful protests under a very heavy police presence on Saturday on the eve of the G7 summit in southern Germany.

Police reported isolated incidents and in one case deployed pepper spray to disperse some protesters but the demonstration in the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen was noisy but mainly good-natured with music pumping out in sweltering temperatures.

There were seven police injuries as some protesters hurled bottles, authorities said.

The main street in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, around 15km from the Elmau Castle where world leaders will gather from Sunday, was lined with riot police keeping a watchful eye on demonstrators.

A wide variety of anti-G7 protesters joined the demonstration, from black-clad anarchists to communists to people sporting traditional Bavarian Lederhosen (leather trousers).

More than 22,000 police have been deployed to watch over the event.

Ms Margit Landgraf, a 73-year-old local, placed herself at the head of the demonstration wielding a banner calling on fellow protesters to "demonstrate peacefully".

"I just want things to pass off peacefully. What the demonstrators are calling for is not all wrong. But for me what's important is that it's peaceful. That's why I'm marching right at the front, so there's no violence. Wish me luck," she said.

Another local, 74-year-old Egon Rueppel, said: "It's my first ever demo and it's great."

At the other end of the age scale, a 22-year-old woman, who declined to give her name, said: "We're here to criticise capitalism. The G7 is a display of power and it's no longer compatible with democracy."

Near to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in picturesque meadows nestled under the Bavarian Alps, protesters had set up brightly coloured tents for accommodation.

As the mercury rose, some protesters stripped off and plunged into a nearby river.

Several curious locals strolled out to visit the tent city, some bringing cakes.

However, later a loud thunderstorm broke over the area bringing heavy rain, forcing an evacuation of the camp.