Perolin also urged authorities to “avoid the sort of heavy-handed policing we have seen during recent demonstrations. They must not apply draconian laws to prosecute protesters who are exercising their right to demonstrate peacefully.”

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, expressed criticism about the heavy police presence as well.

“If they were really interested in building a fairer world,” he said, “surely the G7 would not need to put the whole region of France into lockdown, with thousands of police and ‘unprecedented’ levels of security.”

“The real source of hope is far more likely to come from the protestors outside the summit, who rather than colluding with fascists like [President Donald] Trump, include many people already starting to build a better world,” said Dearden.

The French President Emmanuel Macron put the focus for the upcoming summit on “intolerable” inequality, stating, “Beyond the individual suffering it causes, inequality makes the status quo unbearable and legitimately fuels many of the social and political protests which are destabilizing certain world regions.”

Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of anti-war group CodePink, isn’t buying it.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Benjamin said, “The streets are rising up against the very people in power who have continued to allow this to happen and are not going to be fooled by their nice words.”

“I don’t think that Macron would have even, or Trump, or any of them, would have even had this as a focus were it not for popular pressure. But I don’t think they are at all ready to hear the radical solutions that those of us on the outside want to see,” she added.

Dearden concurred.

“When world leaders claim they’re coming together to create a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world,” he said, “it’s important to judge them on their actions rather than their rhetoric.”

“The truth is that these leaders represent the countries most responsible for driving global inequality, arms sales, and climate change. Unless they’re prepared to break with corporate interests and big-business-first policies,” said Dearden, “they will continue pushing the world into the abyss.”

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