|10,000 protesters expected at North America summit
Bush to attend meeting critics view as stepping stone to continental union
World Net Daily | July 17, 2007
Protesters believe as many as 10,000 people could assemble in Quebec to demonstrate against the third summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the trilateral group some critics see as a stepping stone to a "North America Community."
Canadian state and national police are preparing for a possible violent confrontation when President Bush joins Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Aug. 20, 21 in Montebello, Québec, at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello resort.
Stuart Trew, a spokesman for the Council of Canadians, said his group plans to hold a public forum in Ottawa Sunday, Aug. 19, at about 4:00 p.m., bringing together speakers from the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
"We are then going to encourage people to head to Montebello on Monday and get as close they can to the Fairmont resort where the SPP meeting is going to be held, so they can protest at the site of the summit," he said.
Trew said some of the same groups that brought 15,000 people to Ottawa to protest President Bush's Nov. 30, 2004, meeting with then-Prime Minister Paul Martin are organizing the demonstration against the SPP summit. CBC News estimated the number of protestors in 2004 at closer to 5,000.
Frederic Castonguay, the town general manager of Papineauville, Quebec, told WND in a telephone interview that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Sûreté du Québec will set up operations in a town community facility that adjoins a local high school.
"Papineauville is located about six kilometers from the Montebello resort where the summit meeting will be held," Castonguay told WND, "and the Canadian national and state police have evidently decided that our town facility will be their command center."
Castonguay suggested the Canadian police may try to maintain a 25-kilometer protest-free zone around the Montebello summit meeting site.
Castonguay affirmed to WND that a deposit to lease the facility to the Council of Canadians the day before the SPP summit meeting had to be returned at the insistence of the Canadian police, but he denied a report in the Canadian press that the U.S. Army would be part of the security detail at the Papineauville community center facility.
"That's a game the Canadian press likes to play," Castonguay told WND. "The RCMP said U.S. and Mexican security forces would be involved, but they did not specifically mention the U.S. Army."
The PGA Bloc Montreal has organized a mock website designed to model Canada's SPP governmental website. The group is calling for Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. to be a "Day of Action" organized against the SPP.
The PGA Bloc Montreal is a Canadian group affiliated with the Peoples' Global Action, a worldwide group organized to protest globalism and war.
"We are calling for a convergence on Montebello, or as close to Montebello as possible, on the 20th, in the afternoon," a PGA Bloc Montreal spokesman explained to WND in an e-mail. "People are invited to come as close as possible to Montebello to demonstrate against the SPP and its promoters. Mass transportation will be organized from Montreal, but we are not planning a peace march."
"If they will not let us demonstrate peacefully in Montebello, as we have the full right to do," the PGA Bloc Montreal spokesman continued, "it is imaginable that some outraged people would want to disrupt the summit by various means."
WND previously reported a large number of Canadian activist groups are expected to join the protests.
The meeting, closed to the press, is expected to include the 30 international business leaders who comprise the SPP North American Competitiveness Council.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met July 6 in Washington with Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa to prepare for the Quebec summit.
The July meeting followed an earlier Feb. 24 meeting of the three ministers in Washington to set the stage for the summit.
Since its creation in February 1998, the Peoples' Global Action has held large street protests around the world in opposition to meetings held by various international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the G-8.