G7 summit: How the summit opponents are arming themselves for the protest

When representatives and heads of government of the seven most powerful nations meet for the G-7 summit in Elmau, Upper Bavaria, from June 26 to 28, thousands of demonstrators and activists from all over Germany will travel to nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen to protest against the climate crisis, environmental destruction and to protest rearmament. As was the case at the G-7 summit in 2015, the center of the actions is to be the Garmisch-Partenkirchen market, where a protest camp on the Loisach with space for 750 participants will be opened on June 24th. There will be numerous discussion events on the topics of climate justice, war, exploitation and oppression. So far, 250 people have already registered for the camp, and more are being added every day, said Julia Killet from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on Tuesday, which is jointly responsible for the events of the G-7 opponents. Currently, in about two dozen cities across Germany, there are campaigns to take part in the demonstrations in Munich, Garmisch and around the conference venue in Schloss Elmau.

Because the meeting of the heads of government is to be accompanied by a demonstration within sight and hearing of the castle. A star march towards Elmau starts on Monday, June 27th. Four routes are currently planned: A bike tour starts at the train station in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then leads to Klais. From there you can walk to Elmau via mountain paths. One hike leads from Garmisch via the Warnberg inn to the conference venue, another also from Garmisch via the Partnachklamm inn to Elmau. A mountain bike tour starts at 10 a.m. in Mittenwald. Members of the “AK Offenbare Traditionspflege” want to inform the participants about the dark history of the mountain troops in World War II. From Mittenwald and the barracks it should go to the Hohe Brendten and then to Elmau, where the group will meet the other participants of the star march.

The organizers of the G-7 days of action are still waiting for the final approvals for the rallies. Last Friday there was a three-hour cooperation meeting with officials from the local district office, fire brigade, rescue service, police and Ministry of the Interior, said Claus Schreer from the demonstration and registration team for the protest rallies. “Unfortunately, the police and authorities were not very cooperative,” said the activist on Tuesday in Munich. Schreer fears that parts of the demonstrations will be banned. It is already clear that an original route via the federal highway 2 in Garmisch is not allowed. There is obviously still a need for negotiation on the mountain routes in the direction of Elmau. Because the emergency services absolutely want to ensure that rescue vehicles can also drive unhindered on forest roads. According to Schreer, the demo routes all lead over mountain paths and not over forest roads. The activists categorically reject a ban on demonstrations within sight of Schloss Elmau. On the other hand, they would “definitely complain”. A law firm has already been commissioned and will also be on site with employees during the demonstrations.

7,000 federal police officers will be on duty

So far, the organizing team of the protest camp has been more confident. The message came from the district office in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Monday that there are currently only positive statements from the specialist authorities, so that approval appears possible under certain conditions. At the G-7 protest camp in 2015, the organizers only received permission for the tent camp one day before the start, which is why far fewer people came than originally planned. This time the organizers are assuming that the camp will be busy with 750 people. They are also counting on thousands of people from all over Germany for the demonstrations. After all, getting to Garmisch with the nine-euro ticket is currently particularly cheap.

Meanwhile, the federal police are preparing for their largest operation in Bavaria for years. Around 7,000 officers will be on duty around the G-7 summit, reported the President of the Federal Police Directorate in Munich, Karl-Heinz Blümel, on Tuesday. In Griesen in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a checkpoint has been set up that has been upgraded for the summit. Since Monday, travelers have had to expect random checks at all German borders with neighboring countries. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the reason for this is the increased security requirements around the summit. The controls are intended to prevent the arrival of possible violent criminals from abroad.

“We will do everything we can to keep the disruption to the citizens as low as possible,” promised Blümel. The border controls are to take place flexibly in terms of time and location until July 3rd. Checks are carried out on roads, but also in trains and on hiking trails along the Green Border. Horses are also used there. The federal police also keep an eye on the flight connections at Munich Airport. Federal Police helicopters will fly the state guests to the summit location, Schloss Elmau, among other places.

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