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Hundreds rally in Halifax to oppose G8 agenda

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On April 25, the eve of the G8 development ministers meeting in Halifax, at least 400 people gathered in Halifax and marched to Cornwallis Park, in front of the hotel where most of the development ministers are rumoured to be staying. Members of Atlantic chapters of the Council of Canadians, including two national board members, Angela Giles and Adrienne Silnicki from the regional office, and myself, joined members from FLAP (Feminist League for Agitation and Propaganda), the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Regional Council, Amnesty International, Canadian Youth Climate Change Coalition, Oxfam, the comedy troupe Picnicface and many others to march through the streets of Halifax.

Despite a number of questionable moves by the police (informing march organizers of the rally route change on site, intervening with marchers and poor handling of scared police mounted horses), we marched with together chanting "we are going to beat back the G8 -- we are going to beat, beat back the G8″, demanding that the exclusive, illegitimate meetings reform and listen to the real concerns and demands of billions of people for solutions to the economic, social and environmental crisis impacting our world

At the rally which ended the march in Cornwallis Park, a Mi'kmaq elder told of the legacy left by Lord Cornwallis and his contempt for aboriginal people of the region and he suggested the park be renamed to correctly honour those with historical importance. Oxfam spoke to the need for the G8 to reform and Picnicface did an amazing satirical defense of the G8 (which we will hope to post a link to here soon!). Jada Voyager and Simon Reece speaking to the impacts of the Alberta tar sands and the ‘business as usual' attitude of the G8, when community members in Fort Chipewyan are dying in high rates of unusual cancers. Finally, a representative of the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service spoke to the alarming rates of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Halifax.

Tomorrow morning we will join others at a community information picket as the G8 Development Ministers meeting opens.

Information about our ongoing work to oppose the G8 and G20 Summits in Huntsville and Toronto in June will be available here.

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