A motley band of more than 800 protesters, some sporting fluorescent wigs and clown noses, scampered through woods and open fields past police patrols to reach the barbed-wire topped fence sealing off the Group of Eight summit.
Organizers of the various protest groups claimed victory for getting as far as the barrier, despite being doused by police water cannons, struck with tear gas and occasionally tackled as they blocked several roads including the route from the airport as leaders were flying in for the first day of the summit on Wednesday.
"We have successfully taken over all roads leading to Heiligendamm," said Christoph Kleine of the Block G-8 group. "We are very happy with that."
A group of about 150 members of a group calling themselves the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, in wigs, clown makeup and noses, and occasionally in drag, blocked one of two road entrances into the Heiligendamm area for several hours near the small town of Hinter Bollhagen, less than three kilometers from the summit site.
They were eventually moved, and some 100 police officers in full riot gear then marched the clowns kilometers along a dirt road back to nearby Kuehlungsborn, as the protesters playfully waved at helicopters shuttling dignitaries into the summit site overhead.