THURMONT, Md. (WJZ)– For two days, world leaders were in Western Maryland for the G-8 Summit. On the table were many topics including the eurozone crisis, Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear program. As those powerful leaders were meeting inside Camp David, outside, protesters took to the streets.
Monique Griego has more on what they were upset about.
Riot police were on hand as hundreds of protesters took to the streets. They were upset about everything from corporate greed to who was invited to the summit.
“Prime Minister Zenawi, you are a criminal!” protesters shouted.
Around 200 Ethiopian demonstrators took over Main Street in Thurmont, angry that Ethiopia’s prime minister Meles Zenawi was invited to rub elbows with world leaders at the G-8 Summit.
Demonstrators accuse Zenawi of committing crimes against humanity.
“Obama didn’t have to invite him,” one of the protesters said.
Occupiers were also in the crowd.
“They deregulated the banks, they deregulated industry. Corporations are people. The citizens united. They let this happen,” Jennifer Drury, a protester said.
As a precaution, police in riot gear blocked off streets but the protests remained peaceful.
Inside Camp David, world leaders discussed the global economy. At the top of the agenda: What to do about Greece’s financial crisis before it spreads to other countries.
“All of us are absolutely committed to making sure that both growth and stability and fiscal consolidation are part of an overall package,” President Barack Obama said.
The G-8 leaders also put more pressure on Iran. Obama is winning support for tapping into government-held oil stocks for the second time in two years. It’s a move designed to boost worldwide oil supplies, opening the door for tougher sanctions on Tehran.
“And our hope is that we can resolve this issue in a peaceful fashion that respects Iran’s sovereignty and its rights in the international community, but also recognizes its responsibilities,” Obama said.
Some of the protesters said there was a low turnout in Maryland because many people decided to go to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Chicago. Obama is also attending that summit being held on Sunday and Monday.
This weekend’s summit marks the largest gathering of world leaders ever at Camp David.