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100 Protesters Detained in France Ahead of G8 Summit

HeadlineMay 27, 2011

French police detained some 100 people protesting against the Group of Eight summit Thursday as protests sprung up across the country to mark the two-day summit. In the city of Le Havre, demonstrators occupied a branch of the BNP bank that they said helped finance the nuclear industry.

Protester: “We are here to condemn two things. Nuclear power, because BNP is the bank that invests the most in nuclear power in the world, at a global level. This is also the bank that does the most tax evasion in France: 1.9 billion euros of tax evasion in 2010. It’s a record. Sixty-nine branches in the tax havens.”

In Paris, Doctors Without Borders hung a giant banner advocating free medical care outside the Paris stock exchange building. Another group of activists managed to get inside the Paris offices of credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s. Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo harshly criticized the G8 summit.

Kumi Naidoo: “The G8 is basically a cartel, a self-appointed cartel of eight dominant nations, which carry actually the biggest responsibility collectively for climate change and a whole range of other issues. What we are concerned about the G8 is — and if you have a look at the draft communiqués that have been leaked now — is it’s a regurgitation every year of the same commitments, repackaged and restated. This is not leadership. This is fraudulence, and it needs to be addressed.”

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