Friday, August 24, 2007

Canadians Protest At The Montebello Summit

Canadians Protest At The Montebello Summit

Outside the Chateau Montebello grounds, police in riot gear jostled with about 50 hardcore protesters, using pepper spray and at least one canister of tear gas to push them back. Some protesters responded by tossing objects at police.
Four arrests were made, and several police officers suffered minor injuries.
Protesters from the Canadian Labour Congress who wanted a "family friendly" demonstration stayed back from the police.
Asked by reporters about the protest, Harper said: "I've heard it's nothing. A couple hundred? It's sad."
The demonstration petered out by late afternoon.
Ten busloads of protesters from Ottawa arrived just after noon and spilled on to the highway running through the hamlet of Montebello.
More than 500 people marched along the main road toward the gate of the summit compound, chanting slogans and carrying banners, including one reading: "Say No To Americanada."
Meanwhile, more protesters, some carrying anarchist flags, came from Montreal's Concordia University aboard a convoy of yellow school buses.
Some held signs describing Bush as a war criminal and urging an end to environmental destruction.
Protesters are prohibited from entering the compound but their demonstrations are being broadcast in the hotel lobby via two video monitors.

Secrecy complaint:

Many activists are upset with what they see as a lack of transparency surrounding the SPP process.
While a group of top business executives will get a chance to make a presentation to the three leaders on Tuesday, no such invitation was extended to environmental or social activists.
Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians attacked the SPP process as being "profoundly undemocratic."
She said the North American Competitiveness Council, the group that will meet with the leaders, is made up of 10 corporate bosses from each country and includes giant corporations like Wal-Mart, General Electric and Lockheed Martin.
Barlow told a Monday news conference that big business would like to see a competitive North American trade bloc.
"And for this they need regulatory, resource, labour and environmental convergence to the lowest common standards," she said.
"This is not about security for people, social security, security for the poor, environmental security or job security. This is about security for the big corporations for North America."

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