Wednesday April 18, 2001: Quebec City
Helicopters buzz constantly overhead, and today, a huge fat grey airplane circled low around the city. It's the second biggest plane in the world, in fact. It is Dubya's, loaded with a couple of suitcases and his laptop, I suppose. Oh yes, and the Bush-mobile - a modest armoured car.
The rumour is that the city gate will have to be demolished to get the car through. That's because this is a walled city, with gates at strategic points. The wall was built a couple of centuries ago to keep Americans out. Now, a fence keeps the Americans in and the rest out. I guess we lost that war.
The muscular men wearing black still walk about: indeed, they swarm. However, today many of them sported a jaunty yellow curly wire running down behind one ear and a small plastic bib with their photo on it.
People who live here look at one other suspiciously in the street. Pro or anti? We fall upon our neighbours of either persuasion in relief, and feverishly exchange rumours.
Some things around town are reassuringly familiar. The busker who plays "Dust in the Wind" on his electric guitar all summer long is out early, as is Noseman, who plays three recorders at once: one in each nostril and one in the mouth.
The stores near the perimeter are being boarded up: some with tastefully painted plywood (Gap); some with unpainted plywood (the shoe stores); and some with chicken wire - a graceful compromise between greed and fear. The pubs are still open, and our local brothel seems particularly busy.
The Chateau Frontenac lobby was full of police with dogs today. The whole hotel smelt of dog biscuits. I hope the police have bags in their pockets, ready for the dog walks. But perhaps this is a petty concern right now.
Down at the People's Summit, long after everyone else has gone home, the Latin Americans party late into the night.
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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