In the blazing sun, mountain tours to the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau are a challenge for activists and the police. A group of G7 critics also suffered disappointment.

The sun is burning down from the sky, demonstrators and police are sweating alike: Several small groups of activists have set out for hiking and cycling tours around Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the G7 summit.

In the sweltering heat, they were accompanied by a huge police force. A group of 50 people were to be driven in police cars to Schloss Elmau, where the heads of state and government of the seven leading democratic industrial nations are meeting until Tuesday. But they weren’t allowed to be as close to the Alpine town as they actually wanted.

The G7 critics now have to stay about half a kilometer from the castle with their mini-demo. They failed before the administrative court in Munich and then also before the administrative court with their application to be allowed to get 200 meters closer to the castle. The demonstrators want to protest against the meeting at the “Star March” near the castle. The Munich Administrative Court justified the rejection with security concerns that the Free State had expressed. The organizers immediately lodged a complaint with the administrative court and hoped for another decision.

With the police near the castle

The activists first cycled to the pick-up point, where they are then taken to the vicinity of the castle by the police. Her way was lined with barriers. Almost all 50 participants came, including a Japanese monk. They are not allowed to walk in the cordoned off area at the castle. The activists had criticized that. It was incompatible with the right of assembly, they argued. Still, they decided to take the opportunity.

G7 critics had already fought for a rally near the hotel in 2015 before the Munich Administrative Court. A delegation of no more than 50 activists could have demonstrated at that time within hearing and sight of the meeting of heads of state and government at Elmau Castle. However, the rally did not take place at the time: the opponents had demanded that they walk to the castle themselves and not be taken in police cars.

Another “star march” made up of hikers and cyclists was also accompanied by numerous police officers. According to dpa estimates, around 100 demonstrators made their way from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the mountains. The mountain rescue service was also there and set up supply stations with water. “Sweltering weather, the sun is setting, that’s a certain challenge,” said mountain rescue spokesman Roland Ampenberger. The German Weather Service warned of hail and heavy rain in the Alpine region in the afternoon.

The fellow marchers were nonetheless in good spirits. “We are now living in a time of mankind’s greatest challenge, the climate catastrophe,” said Dominik from Middle Franconia. To fight for his concerns – “I also like to sweat for that”. That is nothing in contrast to what people in the “global south” are suffering from.

Strict conditions applied to the march, which lasted several hours. The paths may not be left, and dogs must be on a leash. Pyrotechnics are also forbidden, “We don’t want to cause a forest fire either,” said organizer Franz Haslbeck.