Protesters to "Occupy Frederick" During G8 Summit

Community plans for protests

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Demonstrators protest in Frederick, Md., the closest city to the G8 Summit at Camp David. News4's Jane Watrel reports. (Published Friday, May 18, 2012)

    Although this weekend’s G8 Summit will be closed to the public, protesters are still planning to rally and demonstrate in Frederick, which is about 20 miles away from Camp David.

    Occupy Frederick scheduled several protests throughout the day, including a People’s Summit.

    G8 Protests Planned

    [DC] G8 Protests Planned
    Multiple rallies and protests against the G-8 are planned near Camp David. News4's Tracee Wilkins is in Thurmont, Maryland with a look at what local police there are doing to prepare for the incoming protesters. (Published Friday, May 18, 2012)

    Another group, The One Campaign, planned on protesting by painting tweets from their supporters on the road to Camp David.

    With the planned rallies and protests comes some advanced planning by city officials. Frederick authorities are preparing for riots and flash mob protests. Police officers' hours have been extended, and Chief Kim Dine told News4's Jane Watrel his not expecting any problems. Frederick police have been planning for this weekend for two months, working with federal, state and other local municipalities.
    Businesses prepared by protecting their windows with boards or poultry wire. At least two banks in Frederick hired extra security.
    About a dozen activists prepared banners for roadside demonstrations Friday in Thurmont. A small demonstration that included a replica of an unmanned drone aircraft in the town square was peaceful. Members of Occupy Baltimore, the lead organizer of the demonstrations, said some activists opted to go to Chicago instead to protest a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance that begins Sunday.

    Demonstrators, from as far away as Tucson, Ariz., aim to educate people, not disrupt the meeting of leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations, said Beth Emmerling of lead organizer Occupy Baltimore.

    “I'm looking forward to the headline, `First G8, no arrests,'” she said of the Camp David meeting.

    She said she expected the world leaders to arrive Friday evening in helicopters, flying high above the signs with slogans such as “No solution for nuclear waste” and “End war now.” But Emmerling was hopeful that President Barack Obama and his guests would see news coverage of the protests.

    “I'm sure Obama's interested in hearing what the people are saying, given it's an election year,” she said.
     
    Connecticut musician Ray Neal arrived in Thurmont with a half-dozen others from Occupy New Haven. He accused the international leaders of running and hiding from demonstrators.

    “I don't approve of these behind-the-closed-door meetings in a supposed democracy,” said Neal, 52, wearing a “People against police brutality” T-shirt. “I'd like to let it be known that I think these processes should be open and transparent, since they affect us all.”

    Demonstrator Gregory Walker, 24, of New Haven, said he had considered going to Chicago to protest the NATO summit but ultimately heeded a friend's advice that “NATO is like the hand of the world's leaders.”

    “He was right,” Walker said. “Why not come out and meet the minds -- or as close as we can get to the minds -- and do some protesting?”

    Most of the issues that are being focused on this year are the ongoing economic problems in Europe, including the debt crisis in Greece.
    Leaders are attending from around the world, including countries like Germany, Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom.
    Russia will be attending, however Vladimir Putin will not be present as he is still putting his cabinet together. Putin will send Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his place.

    Some past G-8 meetings have been accompanied by large and sometimes violent protests. This year's session had been set for Chicago, followed immediately by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit. In March, the Obama administration moved the economic meeting to Camp David but denied that it was for security reasons.