HENDAYE/IRUN: Anti-globalization and climate activists have teamed up with yellow vest protesters and Basque nationalists ahead of a G7 meeting in France this weekend to confront a rich-poor divide they say is growing due to the “cynicism” of world leaders.
At a “counter-G7” summit in the twin cities of Hendaye, France and Irun, Spain, on the French-Spanish border 30 km (18 miles) south of G7 venue Biarritz, 50 NGOs are meeting to protest at economic and climate policies pursued by the world’s leading industrial countries and to promote alternatives.
“The cynicism of the G7 meeting is that it has made inequality the central theme of the event, but it is these rich countries’ very policies that create and strengthen inequality,” said Sebastien Bailleul, a spokesman for “Alternatives G7”.
He said he saw no contradiction in international anti-globalization activists working with France’s “yellow vest” movement, which grew from a protest against green taxes on fuel.
The “yellow vest” movement included figures with far-right sympathies and has been marked by rioting and looting in a series of often violent weekly protests end 2018-early 2019.
Bailleul added the Basque independence movement in Spain has abandoned violence. In 2011, Basque militant separatist group ETA announced an indefinite halt to its campaign of armed action which killed more than 850 people in Spain over half a century.
“The organization of this counter-summit is with those Basque movements that are rather leftist, and who have the same worldview as the anti-globalization movement,” he said.
He added that the counter-G7 summit would have been a failure if France’s most important social movement, the yellow vests, had not been represented there.
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