G7 Summit 2021: Police approve protest sites for demonstrators to oppose meeting
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Four police-approved protests will take place in Devon and Cornwall when world leaders meet for the G7 Summit in June.
Demonstrations will be held in Plymouth, Exeter, Falmouth and Truro - with local authorities encouraging protesters not to gather in the Carbis Bay and St Ives area.
According to Devon and Cornwall Police, "space is limited" where the summit leaders will meet and four locations have been approved as protest sites away from the event.
Police are also looking at areas where demonstrations can take place on water, they said.
Plymouth - The Hoe
Exeter - Flowerpots Playing Fields
Falmouth - Church Street Car Park
Truro - Lemon Quay
Officers have been working with "a number of protest groups" and individuals who plan to voice their opposition to the meeting of the seven world leaders, which will happen between 11 and 13 June.
Many oppose the construction work currently taking place in Carbis Bay, specifically around the Carbis Bay Hotel, which they say is causing significant environmental damage.
Groups such as Extinction Rebellion say they want to get as close to the venue as possible to have maximum impact.
"I'm pretty confident that we will manage to sort something out whereby we can get our message across in an appropriate way," said Richard Ecclestone, the group's police liaison coordinator.
"This is too important and the police have said they are not there to stop protests. They know it's going to happen and they welcome it."
While the force has confirmed it supports the right to peaceful protest, it has also stressed that any dangerous activity will not be tolerated.
"The public can be assured that any public order or criminal offences will be dealt with robustly and adequately," a spokesperson said.
"Call handling and custody provision is also a key part of our planning for the G7 Summit to ensure we continue to meet the needs of local communities."
Superintendent Jo Hall, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “It’s important that people can exercise their right to protest legally and peacefully.
"This should not impact residents and businesses and so we’ve been working with local councils to agree appropriate protest sites.
“We are aware that some people are making enquiries to police and local authorities about where they could camp in order to maintain a presence close the G7 Summit.
"Whilst the decisions are not primarily a police matter, we are working closely with partners to ensure we include this in our plans.
“Anyone who wishes to express their views is encouraged to use one of the dedicated sites. As ever, our thinking will be based upon making this a peaceful and safe event for all concerned.”