HUNDREDS of thousands of protesters joined worldwide demonstrations Sunday calling for adoption of global environmental controls as world leaders headed to Paris for the opening Monday of the United Nations climate summit.
Activists linked hands in the heart of the French capital amid tight security in the wake of the deadly Islamic State terrorist attacks earlier this month that killed 130 people. But peaceful protests turned violent, with police firing tear gas at a small group of demonstrators and arresting about 100.
With French officials banning marches, demonstrators, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, left about 20,000 pairs of shoes on the ground at the Place de la Republique. Demonstration organizers said the shoes weighed four tons and included a pair the Vatican sent on behalf of Pope Francis.
More than 2,000 demonstrations occurred or were set for Sunday elsewhere, including in Perth, Australia; Berlin, London, Sao Paulo and New York.
About 150 world leaders are at the start of the summit, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even before the world leaders arrived for the official start of the summit, negotiators began talks late Sunday.