- Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - While presidents and prime ministers gather at the United Nations sustainability conference in Brazil to seek a balance between economic development and environmental protection, 200 non-government groups are hosting their own alternative event.

The nine-day People’s Summit is fostering conversation between social movements, including indigenous groups, environmental activists, unions and land rights groups.

They came to Rio to search for alternatives to those proposed by world leaders, which they say have accomplished little since the last UN summit 20 years ago.

The movement spawned two marches drawing tens of thousands. One protested the removal of communities to make way for projects connected to the 2016 Olympics. The other opposed alleged capitalist appropriation of the Earth Summit.

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