20 arrested in Atlantica protests in Halifax
Police and paint-throwing protesters clashed in the streets of Halifax on Friday, resulting in at least 20 arrestsas delegates met at a conference promotinga trade zone for the region.
Some threw light bulbs filled with blue paint at police.Several officers and spectators, as well asthe rear window of onepolice cruiser, were hit.
A smaller group moved on to the public library on Spring Garden Road, where they wereagain confronted bypolice. As they marched forward, officers shouted for them to move back.
There was some pushing, and several people were arrested. Police said they used pepper spray only after the protesters used some kind of irritant on them.
"I didn't see the [Tasering], but I definitely heard the guy screaming, and I also saw some pepper spray," said Barrett Thompson, 23, who was walking by at the time.
Police later subdued and arrested several more protesters. A police spokeswoman said charges are pending.
Halifax police had been preparing for such an encounter. One group said it expected hundreds protesters outside the conference, and there were demonstrations last year when the Atlantica meeting was held in Saint John, N.B.
Variousbusiness groups from around the region are taking part in the meeting, whichpromotes the idea of a trade zone encompassing eastern Canada and the New England states.
But opponents say the plan to turn Atlantic Canada into a gateway forgoods fromAsiameans only cheaper energy and consumer items for Americans, and not economic development for the region.