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G20 2011: Protests Ahead Of Summit In Cannes, France (PHOTOS)

G20 2011

First Posted: 11/02/11 05:32 PM ET Updated: 11/02/11 05:36 PM ET

Thousands of protesters have turned out in Nice ahead the sixth G20 summit, held this year in Cannes, France. Demonstrations have become a fixture preceding the group's semi-annual meetings, with many of the protests escalating into violence. This year's two-day summit will cover Europe's banking crisis and the possibility of a Greek default.

Protesters donning Robin Hood caps -- in reference to their demand for a small tax on international financial transactions to aid poor countries -- took to the French Riviera on Tuesday to demand that the G20 pay attention to people instead of catering to banks and financial interests.

Following the 2008 inaugural summit in Washington, D.C., which was held in response to the year's economic crises, protesters have rallied against all of the G20's subsequent semi-annual meetings.

In 2009, more than 150 groups and tens of thousands of people spent 6 days protesting in London, England, the Associated Press reported. At least ten protesters received bloody head wounds after being hit with police batons, The Guardian noted, as protests turned violent. Bankers were advised to wear plainclothes and stagger their arrival at work to avoid being targeted by demonstrators.

Later that year, the G20 held its third meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As protesters marched toward the convention center where the summit was held, "officers fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke at the protesters, set off a flash-bang grenade and fired rubber bullets," according to the Associated Press.

In June 2010, Toronto, Canada, hosted the G20. More than 560 people were arrested after anarchists broke away from the non-violent protest. From The Guardian:

"They covered their faces, and used litter bins, poles and bricks to smash the facades of an Urban Outfitters, a branch of Scotia Bank and an Adidas store. Footage from the Canadian broadcaster CTV also showed them looting, and threatening photographers."

According to CBC News, the protest marked the first time police used tear gas in Toronto.

When the G20 went to Seoul in 2010, more than one-third of the country's national police force was called in to patrol demonstrations of up to 40,000 people, Reuters reported.

Cannes and Nice are tightening their security forces in preparation for this year's summit, and 12,000 police have been deployed as security, The Guardian reports.

The G20 consists of 19 countries and the European Union.

Below, a look back at G20 protests over the years:

Washington, D.C., 2008
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Riot police block protesters as they stage a rally and march toward the U.S. embassy in the Manila on November 15, 2008, to condemn the holding of the G-20 leaders' summit in Washington. The protesters opposed attempts to revive the capitalist system that has been affected by the world financial crisis. The first G20 Summit, held in Washington D.C., came after the economic crises of 2008 and resulted in protests around the world. (Getty)

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Filed by Clare Richardson  |