(Reuters) - Thousands of demonstrators converged on London’s financial district Wednesday in a heavily-policed protest coinciding with the G20 summit of world leaders.
The global financial crisis has sparked unrest in some of the G20 countries. Here are some details:
* UNITED KINGDOM — Demonstrators smash windows at office buildings in London’s financial center in protest against a financial system they say has robbed the poor to benefit the rich. They marched to the central bank behind models of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” representing financial crimes, war, climate change and homelessness.
— Trade unions, aid agencies, religious groups and environmentalists joined together in London on March 28 under the slogan “Put People First” to demand reform of the world’s economy. Up to 35,000 people took part in the march.
— British workers protested at power plants in late January against the use of foreign contractors on critical energy sites. They voted to end strikes on February 5 after French oil group Total agreed to hire more British workers at its Lindsey oil refinery.
* ARGENTINA — Farmers declared a seven-day strike on March 20, halting grains and livestock sales, in protest against the center-left government’s refusal to reduce levies on soy shipments.
— The strike in a leading global supplier of soy, wheat, corn and beef escalated a battle between the farmers and President Cristina Fernandez. The farmers said they were being squeezed by a drought and a slide in global commodity prices.
* BRAZIL — Oil workers at state-controlled energy firm Petrobras began a five-day strike on March 22 to try to cut crude output in protest over job cuts, pay and working conditions.
— The workers’ union said members were angered that Petrobras had fired some sub-contracted workers. It said Petrobras had used the pretext of the global financial crisis to do so and also to trim workers’ benefits.
* FRANCE — In a local incident Tuesday, shop workers facing the sack surrounded the chief executive of retail and luxury group PPR, Francois-Henri Pinault, in a taxi before riot police were called in to clear them away.
— On March 28 in Paris, a few hundred demonstrators protested under the slogan “We will not pay for their crisis.” — Up to 3 million people protested across France on March 19 in a second round of strikes and rallies called to denounce President Nicolas Sarkozy’s handling of the economic crisis.
— Up to 2.5 million people demonstrated around France on January 29 over pay and job protection. On March 5, unions and authorities sign a deal to end a six-week strike over wages and prices that paralyzed France’s Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. A union leader was killed, and shops were burned and looted.
— Thousands of workers marched in France’s Indian Ocean territory of Reunion on March 5 and 10 in a campaign of strikes and protests to push for wage increases.
* GERMANY — About 15,000 people marched through Berlin on March 28 with black-clad protestors throwing rocks and bottles at police. Police said several arrests were made. Up to 14,000 assembled in Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt.
— 15,000 Opel workers from Germany rallied on February 26 at the German headquarters of their struggling company, demanding parent General Motors scrap plans for plant closures in Europe.
* RUSSIA — About 1,000 demonstrators called for the government to resign during a peaceful march in Vladivostok on March 15, the latest protest linked to the economic crisis in Russia. About 800,000 Russians lost their jobs in December and January, taking the total number of unemployed to more than 6 million, or 8.1 percent of the working population.
— Sixteen steelworkers at ESTAR’s Zlatoust steel mill suspended a hunger strike over wages on March 14 after management agreed to some demands, but threatened to resume the rare show of dissent over spreading economic hardship.
* UNITED STATES — Dozens of protesters interrupted a speech by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on February 3, accusing him of ignoring the views of the poor.
— Bloomberg was talking about his affordable housing plan at a conference of business people at a luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan when dozens of people entered the ballroom shouting and waving flyers.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Additional writing by Jijo Jacob;