Monday, August 20, 2007


Day long protests at the Chateau Montebello where the "three amigos" are meeting ended with a mass police attack on the protesters late in the afternoon, soon before the protest was due to disperse. Throughout the day a small number of tear gas canisters were fired and several protesters injured. About 1,400 people had gathered at the resort site to bring their concerns closer to the actual summit. Many protesters and journalists covering the event were tear gassed during the day, but at either about 5:30 or 6:30 PM (reported times vary) all hell broke loose as the massed police let loose with a large volley of tear gas, often firing point blank at their opponents. The reason for the sudden attack is unknown as the behavior of the crowd was no different at that time than any other time during the day (Molly suggests the possibility of "shift change". It's entirely possible that the order to attack was given when the time was approaching that officers present would accumulate what their commanders considered an inordinate amount of overtime. Gotta clean up now so everyone can go home and no big bill falls due.) Participants in the protests have given a couple of accounts of how the incident may have begun, with some minor irritations on the police lines. Molly finds it unlikely that the police could have reacted this way without a direct order. Possible perhaps, but if they began attacking without an order it says something about the level of discipline amongst the forces deployed there.

Police claimed either 5 or 6 arrests at the demonstration (once more accounts vary). These are being held at the temporary command post at the Papineauville High School in Papineauville Quebec. Solidarity with those arrested is being arranged by the Montreal Legal Support (tel # 514-577-6649) and the Ottawa Legal Support (tel # 613-316-0341.

More on the events down east tomorrow. For ongoing coverage both written and audio see Ottawa Indymedia.

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