Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Welcomed Warmly by Anti-Poverty Activists on Eve of Tense G20 Meeting

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Welcomed Warmly by Anti-Poverty Activists on Eve of Tense G20 Meeting

Article excerpt

German anti-poverty event welcomes Trudeau


HAMBURG - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sunny ways will be tested over the next few days amid tensions both inside and outside the gates of the G20 summit in Germany, where tens of thousands of protesters are already wreaking havoc.

After protesters in Hamburg torched a Porsche dealership overnight, things appeared relatively calm through the day Thursday until a barrage of firecrackers and bottles aimed at riot police was answered with tear gas and water cannons.

Not far away, the mood was less violent as more than 12,000 activists attending the Global Citizen Festival greeted Trudeau with raucous cheers during a rock concert at an arena in the northwest part of the city.

Trudeau, along with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, introduced the band Coldplay and spoke of Canada's feminist international development policy, which he said puts women and girls at the heart of Canada's aid efforts.

"That's one of the messages I'll be bringing with me to the G20 Leaders' Summit this weekend, and I hope you'll help to share that message too," he said.

He later returned to discuss the need to eradicate global diseases like polio.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau arrived in the northern port city just hours before U.S. President Donald Trump, whose protectionist rhetoric and stance against climate change action pose a threat to much of the G20's recent progress.

But in the minutes after Trudeau touched down, all the focus was on his three-year-old son, Hadrien.

After descending from the plane while swinging from his parents' arms, Hadrien walked proudly down the red carpet clutching the bouquet of flowers German officials initially presented to his mother.

It was a fun diversion to kick off Trudeau's visit to Germany, a three-day stay where tensions between other world leaders are high and protesters are already clashing with police in the streets.

At the concert, mere mentions of Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin sent the crowd into fits of booing, the Canadian prime minister was given rock star status among the concert goers.

That's one of the other main events from this summit: Trump's first in-person meeting with his controversial Russian counterpart. …

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