11/01/2011 06:21 EDT | Updated 01/01/2012 05:12 EST

Protesters call on G20 leaders to focus on world's needy, not bankers and financial markets

NICE, France - Thousands of protesters are converging on the French Riviera to urge the Group of 20 leading economies to focus on spreading global largesse instead of saving banks and pleasing financial markets.

Dozens of activist groups with a range of missions from eliminating tax havens to boosting money for development are organizing protests this week. A big march is planned for Tuesday in Nice under the slogan "People First, Not Finance."

The protests are timed around the summit of G-20 leaders in nearby Cannes on Thursday and Friday.

More than 12,000 police and other security officers are deployed to maintain order.

The G-20 summit is expected to focus on Europe's efforts to overcome its debt crises, which have threatened the global recovery and rocked financial markets.