Monday, November 20, 2006

Violence Seals Fate of Doomed G20 Meeting

Ugly violence from 20 activists disrupted the otherwise peaceful protest. About 20 activists overturned a police barricade, threw bottles and broke into a police riot truck, smashing its windows.

They also kicked the legs of police horses. The violence took place well away from the venue, with police locking down parts of the city to stop protesters actually reaching the meeting.

Police Vs Protestors

Charity group Oxfam says the leaders at the G20 Summit must commit to improving foreign aid and slashing the debts of developing countries.

The finance ministers and central bank governors of the world's 20 richest economies are in Melbourne for the second and final day of the summit.

Discussions will cover reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the effectiveness of foreign aid arrangements.

Oxfam's executive director Andrew Hewett says rich countries like Australia must increase their aid budgets and offer debt relief.

"The Government in Canberra has been stingy," he said.

"Australia ranks 19th out of 22 rich countries and the only reason we can talk about the aid budget going up is because it was cut to smithereens after this Government came to power."

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