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Council of Canadians 'paddles to the G'

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Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow led a canoe flotilla on Fairy Lake Thursday in an attempt to take our "scrap the summits" message to G8 delegates in Huntsville.

The canoe flotilla was buzzed by a military helicopter and closely monitored by Ontario Provincial Police boats.

As the canoe flotilla approached restricted waters near the Deerhurst Resort where the G8 leaders are staying, it was stopped by officers in an OPP boat and we were told we couldn't proceed any further.

With G8 representatives not willing to meet with us, and a multitude of media watching, the police agreed to take our "scrap the summits" message to the resort.

The Toronto Star reports that, "'We tried to deliver a "Scrap the summits" message to the G8 leaders. We believe the G8 is an undemocratic, illegitimate body and that it is much better to have a meeting like this at the United Nations,' Brent Patterson of the Council of Canadians told the bobbing reporters. Patterson said since the G8 is sealed up like a drum and protected by thousands of police and soldiers, the water route seemed a good way to make their statement. 'The point of today's exercise was to try to tell a much broader audience that a club of eight of the richest countries in the world should not be making decisions that impact the whole world. So that's our concern and that's the message we wanted to deliver,' he said."

"Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians, waited until she was on dry land to give reporters a piece of her mind. 'We wanted to state through this action our concern around the use of a fake lake (at the G20 media centre in Toronto) when we have this gorgeous lake, but being used in a very terrible way with an unnecessary amount of security, which is just outrageous when you think of what that money could be used for,' she said."

The Toronto Star report, "Four canoes, 12 protesters and plenty of polite cops equal classic Canadian showdown," is at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/827968-four-canoes-12-protesters-and-plenty-of-polite-cops-equal-classic-canadian-showdown?bn=1.

The National Post report, "Huntsville canoe protest delivers anti-G8 message," is at http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/24/huntsville-canoe-protest-delivers-anti-g8-message/.

The letter delivered today can be read at http://www.canadians.org/action/2010/scrap-summit.html.

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