With just a few days before the leaders of Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. will join German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Heiligendamm, a sleepy beach resort on the Baltic Sea, both police and demonstrators are revising strategies after violent clashes in Rostock.
All public access to Heiligendamm was closed off on the morning of May 30. A fence 7.5 mi long and about 10 ft high costing around $17 million, built with razor-wire, lets only residents and those on official business in or out (interactive map from SPIEGEL ONLINE). Police collected odor samples from potential trouble-makers, and ivestigators were opening mail addressed to anti-G-8 groups in Hamburg. They were getting ready for some 100,000 demonstrators who are setting up camp in neighboring communities — most of them for peace and against violence, and generally funny and colorful.
The big question is of course, what’s the point of this overpriced meeting in the first place. Even the German SPD Calls For Re-Think of Summit Format. Maybe a more effective form of protest would be to absolutely ignore the G8 meeting, or suggest that these 8 “leaders” (??? this ugly mug in the White House ain’t MY leader…) simply hold a conference call — most of them don’t like each other anyway.