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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

G-8 Protests Take Turn for the Worse

CALGARY, Alberta -- Shoving matches erupted Wednesday between police and anti-globalization protesters in two Canadian cities as initially peaceful demonstrations against the summit of the world's richest countries turned testy.

No major violence occurred. But incidents like the burning of a U.S. flag outside the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, the capital, and a brief shoving match between scores of protesters and police at a McDonald's restaurant in Calgary underscored tensions surrounding demonstrations against capitalism and policies of the Group of Eight nations.

Protesters were kept far from the summit, being held at a remote Rocky Mountain resort of Kananaskis, 100 kilometers west of Calgary.

Police said one person was arrested at a checkpoint on the lone paved road to Kananaskis after a busload of postal union workers delivering a protest letter to summit leaders was stopped.

The arrest was for obstructing a law enforcement official, and the man was being held in Calgary, according to a police statement.

Later Wednesday, a caravan of dozens of vehicles drove from Calgary and was allowed through the first few of the checkpoints in a symbolic protest of the lack of access to the summit site. Some protesters played drums on the roadside while negotiations with police ensued on getting from checkpoint to checkpoint, with the line of cars stretching hundreds of meters along the road.

The Ottawa protest, 3,200 kilometers east of the summit, ranged from the brazen, when a dozen people danced nude in front of Canada's Parliament, to the bellicose, with some black-clad demonstrators throwing golf balls and paint-filled balloons that damaged street lamps, police cars and a bank window.

Protesters blocked traffic, beat drums and shouted "Capitalism Kills," "The Enemy is Profit" and "Down with the G-8."

"It was a great success," said Lisa Freeman of the Anti-Capitalist Community Action. "People were marching for an end to this capitalist system and these elite G-8 leaders who are hiding out in Alberta."

One man was arrested when protesters stopped the police from apprehending another man. A police officer was seen bleeding from the nose after the scuffle.

In Calgary, a festival-like morning march by 1,000 people snarled traffic but remained peaceful.

Afterward, a smaller group headed into the center of the city with dozens of police on bicycles keeping a close watch.

Outside a downtown McDonald's restaurant, the 150 protesters confronted a line of officers who pushed them back, resulting in a brief shoving match.

Some protesters shouted "fascists" and "racists" at the police, while others tried to calm the situation.

The group eventually moved on.

Despite the scuffles, most of the protests against the meeting of world industrial powers -- the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia -- have been peaceful, with a march Sunday and demonstrations Tuesday in Calgary proceeding without any violence or arrests.

Violence at last year's G-8 demonstrations in Genoa, Italy, left one protester dead.

To prevent disruptions this year, summit leaders met in relative seclusion at the mountain retreat. At the meeting site, tight security included checkpoints stationed every few hundred meters along the only paved road into the resort that were guarded by camouflage-clad soldiers carrying automatic weapons.

In Calgary, police have taken a low-key approach. Access is restricted only in two blocks around a convention center where national delegations will brief the media.

Still, protest organizers accused authorities of raising tensions by denying them permits to set up a "solidarity village" in Calgary.

"If they were concerned about de-escalation, they would have provided a place for legal events," said David Robbins, a trade campaigner for the Council of Canadians, a social activist group.