Faces in the Crowd (part I)

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<b>Activists of all stripes from across the country are dancing and chanting in the bright Calgary sun this week. <i>rabble</i> spoke with protesters of the G8 Summit to find out why.</b>

Pat Fritzel: this 66-year-old farmer describes herself as a granny who is raging; she drove to Calgary with six other members of the Salmon Arm chapter of the Council of Canadians

“The governments are in the pockets of the corporations. Im concerned about poverty in the third world and in our own country. The G8 is all tied in together with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], which are eroding our rights. Were losing our health care. Education is being affected. And pensions are being threatened. Here in Calgary theyve put up barricades as if we are really dangerous people, they are trying to stifle dissent. But as much as we can, were going to make some noise.”

Ursule Beaulieu: a 61-year-old Catholic nun from Rimouski, Quebec, she is involved in her local womens centre and was in Quebec City for the demonstrations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas

“Im here because I want justice and peace for everyone in the world. The G8 want globalization and its not good for the people. In globalization, the poor are becoming so poor and the rich are becoming so rich. We want equity and liberty respected. For a lot of years now the G8 have said they will do something [about poverty] and they have not. So Im not expecting that they will be better now because for all this time they have done nothing.”

Loretta Gerlach: Prairie Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians, she traveled to Calgary with a contingent of Saskatchewan activists

“I think there are three reasons why people from Saskatchewan are here in Calgary. One of them is that we strongly believe in people before profits and the importance of showing our passion for the issues. Two, to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Alberta and show our dissent with them. And three, to add to the message that we are in this together. The agenda of the G8 affects people in Saskatchewan in many ways, the most notable would be through the WTO and the GATS [General Agreement on Trade in Services]. A number of our municipalities have passed resolutions asking to be exempt from the WTO and any trade agreements they would sign. And there are also the environmental implications such as water, hog barns, all those things. Its a big issue for Saskatchewan.”

Roy Ward: the 68-year-old retiree endured a 50-hour bus ride from Toronto to join the Calgary protests against the G8

“I want to leave this country in good shape for my children. These people who are running the government are not doing that. Theyre too incompetent and theyre too greedy. They dont give two hoots about anything but themselves, money and the corporate agenda. I want this country and this world given back to the people. Its been taken away. Globalization is going to kill us all and Ill fight until the end.”

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