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