Thousands of activists have gathered to protest the arrival of G7 leaders for the two-day summit in the German Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Police spokesman Hans-Peter Kammerer said the 8,000-strong crowd, mainly consisting of groups calling for action on poverty and climate change, have so far been peaceful but added that 22,000 officers were on standby, over fears more extreme factions from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Britain could join the demonstrations.

Police said they will carry out spotchecks at the borders, even though, as a member of the Schengen agreement, they are normally openly accessible.

Simon Ernst, one of the organisers of the Stop Elmau demonstration, called the G7 leaders of Germany, France, the US, Italy, Britain, Canada and Japan, “the henchmen of bankers and corporations”.

The group takes its name from the luxury hotel where the summit will take place, nestled 3,000 ft high in the snow-capped Bavarian mountains, from Sunday through until Monday.

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