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Small, Peaceful Protest at G7 Meeting in Florida

11.02.2004
Obecné
Small, Peaceful Protest at G7 Meeting in Florida
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A small band of anti-globalization protesters demonstrated on Saturday outside the exclusive Florida resort where ministers and central bankers from the world\'s richest nations met, calling on them to bring talks on currency and debt into the public eye.

The Group of Seven meeting drew about 30 peaceful protesters from local groups, a far cry from the hundreds who descended on Miami from all over the United States in November for a Free Trade Area of the Americas summit. Those demonstrators were greeted by tear gas and pepper spray and more than 200 were arrested.

\"Peace and justice. Stop corporate greed,\" demonstrators chanted in the traffic circle outside the Boca Raton Resort and Club, about 45 miles north of Miami.

\"Who speaks for the poor?\" asked a sign carried by one protester. \"Deep Six the G7 and take Bush with you,\" said another.

One demonstrator wore an elaborate costume he called the \"G-7-headed monster.\" Another sported a T-shirt reading \"If crime doesn\'t pay, why do corporations have so much money?\"

Police said they made no arrests.

The protesters complained that G7 officials would hear only from global corporations, not workers and environmental groups, before making decisions that will affect families around the world. They demanded a seat at the table.

\"These transnational companies are just after profits. They don\'t care about workers\' rights,\" said Deborah Smith, 45, a self-described \"revolutionary housewife\" from Jupiter, Florida. \"There\'s no input from ordinary citizens.\"

The low-key demonstration contrasted starkly with the FTAA meeting, where riot-equipped police turned downtown Miami into an armed camp and used gas and clubs to control protesters.

Authorities showed little force in Boca Raton, keeping riot police out of sight and patrolling the grounds with dogs and officers on foot. \"We\'re around. You just can\'t see us,\" Boca Police spokesman Jeff Kelly said.


REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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