I walked to my bank Tuesday morning. Large muscular men in black clothes walked up my street. Others drove fast black cars with clouded windows. In front of the church, police were questioning some young men wearing red. I was suddenly uncomfortably aware of the colourful Guatemalan glasses case around my neck.
A group of thirty policemen dressed in green stood on a corner receiving instructions. A man lifted mailboxes into his pickup truck. Forty are being removed from within and around the perimeter. The sewer grills and manhole covers have already been soldered into place.
A cavalcade of blue trucks is still cleaning the streets, full of salt and layer after layer of pungent dog shit just now emerging from the melting snow. Things will be nice and clean for the heads of state.
The 3-metre high fence, fixed in concrete, has become a kind of giant canvas. Near the conference centre, it is strung with wreaths and garlands of homemade flowers, created from plastic bags, paper plates and wrapping paper. A Moody Blues album cover and a faded picture of Sergeant Pepper flapped in the cold sunshine.
Near the Ursuline Convent, a nun threaded real flowers into the fence. Here, the barrier winds down a narrow alleyway used 350 years ago by sisters to drive cows out to pasture. Down the hill, graffiti covers the concrete base:
- Bush go home
- Le mur de honte (Wall of shame)
- Berlin Nov. 1989
- Cuba pas exclu dans nos coeurs (Cuba not excluded in our hearts) Libertad o Muerte! (Freedom or Death!)
- Ãe mort les cochons (Death to the Pigs)
My globalized multinational bank is just outside the fence.
"Arent you afraid these big windows will get smashed?" I asked the bank-teller. She wore snakeskin pants and a nose-diamond.
"They probably will," she shrugged, "but the building doesnt belong to us anyway. If they get broken, we definitely wont come to work on Monday."
For more rabble news coverage of the Quebec Summit and its aftermath, please click here.
Louisa Blair is a mother and writer who lives in Quebec City. The Journal of Citizen #R7263 will be a daily account of her life behind the fence during the Summit of the Americas and the People's Summit of the Americas.
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