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IAF - Irish Anti-imperialist Forum - G8 security operation 'designed to intimidate'

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G8 security operation 'designed to intimidate'

Work is underway to erect a massive security fence to keep political activists far away from a summit of the world's most powerful leaders in County Fermanagh.

The metal barrier stretches for miles around the luxury Lough Erne golf resort is designed to block off the surrounding area and prevent thousands of protesters from gaining access to the isolated hotel.


Eight of the world's most powerful leaders including US President Barack Obama, Russian premier Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will jet into Northern Ireland for the two-day conference on June 17 and 18.

Details about the height, width and scale of the fence are said to be classified British secrets.

The total cost of securing the area is put at over £50 million ($75 million) and will involve the closure of several roads.

In addition to the summit itself, US President Barack Obama is to visit Belfast for what is being described as "the presidential side-trip". There will also be a cosmetic side to the exercise, with about £300,000 being spent on painting over delapidated buildings and otherwise masking the poverty in parts of Belfast.

An additional 3,600 police are being called in from across Britain to reinforce the 7,000 members of the PSNI in the North in advance of expected confrontations. They new recruits have had to be quickly trained getting in and out of the PSNI's heavily armoured vehicles and learn to work with plastic bullets and water cannon, according to reports.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has hired two private security firms including the controversial G4S firm to man a secure area which will extend across the border.

Three unmanned drones and scores of security cameras are also being deployed to relay live pictures to police and MI5 headquarters in Belfast.

British intelligence services have estimated that many thousands of political protesters could be active. Hundreds of jail cells are said to have been prepared in prisons and in former British army barracks.

And fearing an invasion of anarchists causing "chaos" in Belfast, police are planning to occupy hundreds of vacant premises in the centre of the city.

Parts of Antrim will also have a heavy police presence during the conference, particularly in and around Belfast International Airport. British army helicopters are on standby to fly world leaders and their entourages to and from the airport and the summit location.

Few details have been released of the security plans on the southern side, but the embattled 26 County justice minister Alan Shatter has said that mobile phone providers will be asked to cut off signals on their networks to disrupt those opposed to the meeting. Checkpoints where vehicles are scanned are also expected be set up on both sides of the border, and there will be major disruption to people living in the locality, with schools, hospitals and other facilities trapped behind a 'ring of steel'.

'NORMAL' RHYTHM OF CONFLICT

PSNI Assistant chief Alistair Finlay said he was determined the summit would not be affected by the ongoing conflict in the North. He said attacks by militant republicans were part of the "normal backdrop" of life but that he expects any such incidents to take place away from the conference venue and other key areas.

"I've got no reason to say that dissidents won't do something during that period of time. This is the normal backdrop. This has been the backdrop, the sad reality of Northern Ireland over quite a period of time. There is nothing to suggest that the rhythm of that will be disrupted," he said.

But British claims that the two-day summit would bring up to £700 million into the north's economy were laughed off.



taken from: Irish Republican News, RN130524 Irish news - Fri-Thu 18-24 May, edited by: IAF2013