The Council of Canadians was able to make numerous credible interventions over the past several weeks against the agenda and the very existence of the G8 and G20 summits:
PROTESTS AT THE MINISTERIALS: We spoke out against the G7, G8 and G20 ministerials in Iqaluit, Gatineau, and Halifax leading up to the summits in Huntsville and Toronto. For more on that, please go to http://canadians.org/media/trade/2010/04-Feb-10.html, http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3149, and http://www.canadians.org/activistblog/?p=115.
SCRAP THE SUMMITS: Our ‘scrap the summits’ and ‘these meetings should be moved to the United Nations’ message appeared in many commentaries, editorials, speeches and common discourse. Our ‘scrap the summits’ action alert is at http://www.canadians.org/action/2010/scrap-summit.html.
EAR PLUGS TO COUNTER LRADS: We quickly challenged the infringement on civil liberties by the Toronto police and their purchase of LRADs by handing out free ear-plugs. More on that here, http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3688.
ON-LINE POLL: We asked people through an on-line poll if the billion dollars spent on the summits was a good use of public money. 53 people said ‘yes’, 21 said they ‘don’t know’, and an overwhelming 823 said ‘no’.
RIDICULING THE FAKE LAKE: We repeatedly highlighted in the media the folly of $2 million spent on the construction of a fake lake for the G20 summit. The CTV national news report is here, http://watch.ctv.ca/news/clip310961#clip310945, and the many newspaper reports we had are noted here, http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3831.
THE PEOPLES SUMMIT: We were a large part of the Peoples Summit, with Maude Barlow opening the forum and numerous staff offering workshops on key issues to many people. The video of Maude opening the Peoples Summit is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpSUW69sQUo.
SUMMITS EXPENSE CLOCK: From Friday morning at 9 am to Sunday afternoon at 12 noon, we had a ‘summits expense clock’ on our website that gave a second-by-second tally of the $1.24 billion spent on the summits. More on that at http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4071.
CANOE PROTEST: We were in numerous newspapers and television news reports when we took to canoes to take our ‘scrap the summits’ message to the Deerhurst Resort near Huntsville. A 1-minute video of this action can be viewed at http://blogs.canoe.ca/canoedossier/canoes-are-us/kudos-to-council-of-canadians-canoeists/. The Toronto Star report is at http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/827968-four-canoes-12-protesters-and-plenty-of-polite-cops-equal-classic-canadian-showdown.
CHALLENGING THE FIVE-METRE LAW: We challenged the law brought in for the summit that anyone has to produce identification and state their purpose for being within 5 metres of the security fence, by measuring 5 metres out from the fence and marking the line with yellow tape for the media. A blog on this with a photo of Maude measuring the distance from the fence is at http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4082.
SHOUT OUT FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE: We sold out Massey Hall and had an incredible line-up of powerful speakers (the real world leaders) address the 2,700 people in attendance as well as many others who watched the forum by web-cast in communities across Canada and at the US Social Forum in Detroit. Some of the video from that forum is now available at http://www.rabble.ca/rabbletv.
PEOPLE FIRST RALLY AND MARCH: We joined with 25,000 others for a peaceful march through the city on Saturday afternoon. A Council of Canadians photo-stream of pictures from that rally and march are at http://www.canadians.org/g20/index.html.
And now we are calling for a PUBLIC INQUIRY into the policing actions and security operations during the G20 summit in Toronto. More on that at http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=4103.
Read more analysis about the G8 and G20 Summits on the Campaign, Trade and Energy blogs at www.canadians.org.
Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians