Thousands protest against G7 in Munich as leaders gather for summit

About 3,500 protesters have gathered in Munich as the G7 group of leading economic powers prepare to hold their annual gathering in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, which holds the rotating presidency this year.

Police said earlier that they were expecting a crowd of about 20,000, but initially fewer people showed up for the main protest, which started at midday on Saturday, the German news agency dpa reported.

Fifteen groups critical of globalisation, from Attac to the World Wildlife Fund, will participate in the demonstrations. Their various demands include a phase-out of fossil fuels, the preservation of biodiversity, social justice and greater efforts to combat hunger.