Anti-Harper rally draws hundreds to Ottawa core
A rally against Prime Minister Stephen Harper's speech at a Conservative Party assembly worked its way through downtown and continued outside the Ottawa Convention Centre.
The demonstrators heard speeches at Dundonald Park by former parliamentary page Brigette DePape, who was fired last Friday for holding up a "Stop Harper" sign in the Senate during the government's throne speech, as well as the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Denis Lemelin.
"It's people coming together to say that we're going to resist the Harper agenda, to make sure that the Conservatives know that we won't back down," demo organizer Taiva Tegler told CBC News.
"Politics isn't relegated to the Hill," she added. "We can talk about First Nations students and youth who have taken over an old police station for a youth centre, we can talk about women's groups who continue to provide services to survivors of sexual violence despite massive funding cuts."
From Dundonald Park, the demonstrators marched through the downtown core to the convention centre, where Harper deliveredhis keynote address to a Tory convention at around 7:30 p.m. ET.
The march, initially numbering 200 people but swelling to more than 300, caused some disruptions for Ottawa commuter traffic.
"More than 40 community organizations from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Kingston and Vancouver have endorsed the march," organizer Pete Blais said. "We invite all those opposed to Stephen Harper's right-wing agenda to join us."