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Anti-G7 protesters rally carrying 'stolen' portraits of French President

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The Economic Times
25th August, 2019 23:18 IST

BAYONNE (France): Several hundred anti-G7 protesters staged an unusual protest in southwestern France on Sunday, holding “stolen” portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron which were held upside down in a pointed critique on his policies. Demonstrators at the so-called “portrait march” were carrying official portraits of the 41-year-old French leader which had been taken down from town halls across the country over the last few months.

The climate and social justice march was organised by environmental activist group ANV COP 21, as well as two Basque groups Alternatiba et Bizi all of whom were marching under a slogan which pledged to “take down Macron”.

“One, two, three degrees, it’s a crime against humanity!” they chanted as they marched through the narrow streets of Bayonne near the southwestern French resort of Biarritz where world leaders are gathering for the G7 summit.

“We are holding him upside down to show the lack of sense in his policies,” explained a Bizi activist called Mathieu.

Others also carried what appeared to be portraits wrapped up in bags or newspaper on which was written in French, English, Spanish and Basque: “Climate, social justice: where is Macron?” “Taking down a portrait is civil disobedience, it’s considered as theft” in some parts of France, said another demonstrator called Abram.

When the summit opened on Saturday, more than 9,000 protesters joined a peaceful anti-G7 march across a bridge linking France and Spain, police said, with organisers giving a figure of 15,000 marchers.

But later in the day, things heated up with police using tear gas and water cannon to break up protests in Bayonne.

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