Activists from the climate change protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) dressed as dying blackbirds and descended on St Ives to highlight the loss of the UK’s biodiversity as they pecked and cooed at bemused locals in a performance art piece.
Others marched with banners with the XR slogan “sound the alarm” urging the G7 leaders to act now on climate change as another sign scrawled on a giant Cornish pasty read: “Pasty point of no return.”
Another elaborate skit with protesters dressed as Macron, Merkel, Biden and Johnson fighting over deckchairs on the beach as a banner reading “we are heading to climate disaster” flies behind them.
Oxfam activists wearing giant heads of the G7 leaders also pretended to fight over an over-sized COVID-19 vaccine syringe in the shallows of Falmouth beach.
Other protesters known as the “Red Brigade” dressed in red robes to walk through the seaside town known as the Cornwall Youth Climate Alliance marched behind a sign reading “Liar Liar Earth’s on Fire”.
Leaders from the United States, Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada are joining Johnson on Friday for the three-day summit in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay.
Their meeting has also provided an opportunity for campaign groups to highlight the issues they say the G7 must address.
Greenpeace had 300 illuminated drones create animals in the night sky before forming together to make the words Act Now in a message 250ft in height and 400ft in length.
A huge blimp of Boris Johnson and Joe Biden holding hands also floated across the sea.
“We want the real Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and other G7 leaders gathering in Cornwall to be like these blimps and join the wave of hope,” said Jamie Drummond from the Crack the Crises group which organised the blimp protest.
“That means they should stop hoarding and start sharing - sharing the money, doses and the tech to vaccinate the world; and deliver an historic green recovery deal.”
On Friday, officers said they had arrested seven people after stopping two cars in which they found paint, smoke grenades and megaphones.
“We continue to support the facilitation of safe and legal protest, but criminal activity and public disorder will not be tolerated,” the police said in a statement.
However, those organising some of the protests accuse the authorities of oppressive tactics.
“When talking about how local people feel about protesters, it’s really important to remember that lots of protesters are local,” Resist G7, an ad-hoc collection of about 20 activist organisations, said on Twitter.
“It’s the G7 that’s disrupted us not the other way round.”