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Protesting at the G8 Summit

It's an interesting thing, this concept of protest. Public displays of dissatisfaction, particularly with government, don't seem to happen as much anymore. Not in this country. This aspect of the democratic process seems to have lost its touch. Until you meet a fellow like Harry Wahl. Harry is more than willing to step forward and be counted, to have his say. And at the G8 he knows just how difficult this will be.

He tells me now that security has decided to place the protesters in some farmer's sheep field, 12 kilometres from any "event." The mayor tells him they will be bussed there, and left. No parking allowed. In other words, don't bring your own vehicles and don't think you will be allowed anywhere near the leaders. Now, this is curious, because the OPP spokesperson I spoke with assured me that the leaders would see the protesters. We will see who is right.

Harry is even more determined now that the latest figures on security costs have been released. He says it's more important now than ever to stand and be counted and to exercise his democratic right to oppose what he called a gross waste of money for no identifiable benefit.
It's hard to say how many protesters will manage to find their way up the highway to Huntsville. Increasingly it appears the big show will unfold in Toronto. If Harry Wahl has his way, there will, however, be some.

And I suspect, unlike the sheep that normally occupy that space, these protesters will not be easily led, or herded.

Extra features:

See a map of the designated speech area in Huntsville during the G8 Summit.

See an extended video clip from Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Pierre Chamberland, where he explains the reasons for having a separate and enclosed area for protesters.

Watch Reg Sherren's story "Preparing to Protest", and all our coverage of the G8 and G20 preparations on our on-depth page Hosting the Summits.