Protests across Falmouth and Cornwall on first day of G7 summit

“Climate Strike” in Falmouth | Lauren Taylor

Protests have taken place across Falmouth and Cornwall on the first day of the G7 summit.

The summit, taking place in Carbis Bay this year, brings together some of the most powerful world leaders.

6,500 officers have been brought in to police the summit. A ferry, the Silja Europa, has docked in Falmouth to accommodate around 1,000 extra personnel. 12 police officers are currently self-isolating after one tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the ship.

There have been several arrests made near G7 sites, including of a 20-year-old man on suspicion of a bomb hoax at a Falmouth hotel and seven people after police found a loudhailer, smoke grenades, and paint inside a car and van yesterday.

While police previously announced four dedicated protest sites in Devon and Cornwall, demonstrations also took place elsewhere, including closer to the summit in Carbis Bay.

Around 500 people gathered in St Ives for an Extinction Rebellion protest, demanding immediate environmental action from G7 leaders.

The related group Ocean Rebellion staged theatrical action in St Ives, including mermaids tangled in nets.

People’s Vaccine Alliance campaigners, using Oxfam’s “big heads”, posed pretending to fight over a giant COVID-19 vaccine syringe on Swanpool beach near Falmouth. The group is calling for G7 leaders to share COVID-19 vaccines with poorer countries.

Large inflatables of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden floated in the sea near Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth this morning as part of Crack the Crises’ Wave of Hope campaign, focusing on COVID-19 vaccination and the climate crisis.

“Climate Strike” in Falmouth | Lauren Taylor

Around 50 youth demonstrators assembled on the beach for a “Climate Strike” to press world leaders on climate change. Organised by Fridays For Future, the theme was “No More Empty Summits”, aiming to highlight the current climate crisis and how it is affected by the decisions of the richest countries.

One activist said: “This is a good start. However, more ambition is needed, and this only widens the gap between promises and real action, which we have seen time and time again within political conversations.”

“When we say resist the G7, we are criticising how the G7 works.”

“It’s not a fair way to make decisions because everyone who is affected will not be involved in the discussions.”

Protestors, largely wearing face masks, marched to the G7 international media centre in Falmouth, where security is especially tight. Chants included: “The media is not our friend.”

The majority of protestors who spoke to the Anchor agreed with the Youth 7 group, which surveyed over 2,000 young people in the UK and concluded that climate education should be the top policy suggestion to combat the climate crisis in the UK.

However, speaking to other media at the event, the main focus of the protest was unclear, and there is little clarity on the aims of the movement. When speaking to activists, the main theme was wanting “systemic change”.

Further protests are planned for 12 and 13 June, the remaining days of the summit.