The Italian town of L’Aquila is preparing to host the G8 summit – just three months after it was struck by a devastating earthquake.
While world leaders will discuss global issues, the locals face problems much closer to home. With aftershocks continuing to rattle the area and a highly controversial reconstruction plan still being debated, thousands are still forced to live in tents. Many doubt that the arrival of the G8 will help relieve their plight and they are planning peaceful protests. Their slogan, “Yes, we camp” is a reference to US President Barack Obama’s campaign cry “Yes, we can”. In the Italian capital, Rome, the protests were not entirely peaceful. Students at an anti-globalisation rally clashed briefly with police and several people were arrested. G8 organisers had hoped that moving the summit from Sardinia to L’Aquila would reduce the risk of violence, with protesters respecting the memory of the 300 victims of April’s earthquake.