People who live in Geneva have greeted the cities transformation with a combination of disbelief and good humor. Several people we spoke to said they "had never seen anything like it", many believed it "was unnecessary". Many citizens have come out to take photos and stroll around the emptying streets ahead of the Ascension day holiday.
The wooden boards have now become canvasses for people and groups to express their views about the g8 and global society with graffiti, posters quickly appearing. Some posters have appeared merely bearing slogans, as well as those already prepared to advertise the protest. Outside Credit Suisse, a major international finance company graffiti reads "wood can burn" (sic).
There are few police throughout the city, with the authorities so far adopting a low key approach, with even the city issuing a welcome notice to those attending the protest. "Geneva wishes a warm welcome to all those willing to exercise their democratic rights by demonstrating outside the g8 summit" Raine peace flags are everywhere some erected by the city; many shops that have not boarded up have them in the window.
However, with the swiss government calling in 750 additional German police and over 15 water-canons it remains to be seen, if this low key approach will be maintained. The French authorities are reported to have been more restrictive on border crossings, suggesting they will take a more authoritarian approach to the actions in the coming days.