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'We Are Like Rats': As Global Leaders Descend on Biarritz for G7, Locals Voice Anger at Tight Security

Biarritz, a picturesque French seaside town of 25,000 people, is set to take center stage on Saturday, August 24, as world leaders arrive for the G7 summit. For locals, however, the tight security has brought frustrations. A Facebook page, SOS G7 Biarritz, was set up by local councilor François Amigorena in April, and has over 14,000 subscribers. The page documents the disruption caused by the summit, and shows the intense security in place. Amigorena told Storyful that residents have been sending in their pictures and videos to help the page document the impact of the summit on the town. “Faced with the heavy constraints and the many inconveniences that the organization of this event will bring to the inhabitants of Biarritz, the Basque Country and south Landes, this Facebook page aims to provide – in all independence and without doublespeak – maximum information on G7 2019 and its preparations,” reads the page’s description. Commenting on one post to the page, a local named Helene Vieux Rochas said, “This is truly outrageous. We are prisoners until Monday night, barriers […] not a space to cross the street and buy a baguette of bread, no possibility to go out by car to join my children and grandchildren on the beach at St Jean de Luz. I am very angry, we are in zone 2 and despite our passes, we are like rats, it was absolutely not planned to be such an extended bunkerization.” Credit: SOS G7 Biarritz via Storyful
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