archives of global protests

Inside the Perimeter.
by Jonathan Guido, independent reporter and legal observer 10:37am Sat Apr 21 '01

Eye witness report from inside the wall.
Proof of police violation law on Police,
section 112, police.

Pushing the legal limit.

I have been inside the perimeter for three days now. The RCMP and SQ officers (and there are plenty!) have tried to escort me outside because I had no accreditation pass around my neck (I was refused accreditation, therefore, if I get out, I can't get back in), but I had to remind them that I have been inside before they closed off the wall around Québec City and that I have the right to be here as long as I don't break the law. They then verify the information with their boss up in the buildings, who can see me where ever I go with spy cameras. Their bosses have repeatedly told their officers on the ground that I do indeed have the right to walk around freely, although some RCMP and SQ policemen have tried to force me out without consulting with their bosses. So far this has happened 18 times in the past 45 hours. Most of the policemen did not want to give me their name or badge number, as this is a clear violation of The Law on Police, section 112, which states that policemen have o identify themselves upon demand.

I have managed to find an internet caféé, where I an able to write this message.

Confrontations in the Streets.

I have been observing the manifestations and police maneuvers from the inside. Yesterday, the wall on the western side of the perimeter on René-Lévesque was broken down, starting around 3:00, as 25 to 50 instigators among the peaceful protesters pulled and pushed the wall down to the ground. There were about 2 to 2,5 thousand protestors and about 700 to 800 riot police a the location. The police responded by shooting of CF gas canisters into the crowd. The innocent and guilty paid the same price as only the riot police had gas masks as everybody else including the journalists were suffering from burning eyes and skin. The wind brought the gas back into the walled-off area, and the journalists behind the riot cops were gasping for air and tearing painfully. The Media center ( accessible only to accredited journalists, from private and state presses)was locked by the police preventing any journalists from coming out to record the events and preventing any journalists from coming in to seek refuge from the CF gas. The excuse the police gave was that the air system inside the building could not be contaminated with CF gas. Police officers just shrugged their shoulders when when asked if the air system is worth more than the journalists' health and safety. People who pleaded with the police to lend them surplus gas masks were refused protection from the gas.

At another location at around 5:00 p.m., corner of d'Aguillon and Duffrein-Montmorency, there were about 1 to 1.5 thousand protesters and about one hundred riot heavily police wearing army-like gear, gas masks in a horizontal line behind the wall, another hundred riot police dress in bleu, also armed, masked and in bullet-proof vests stood in a perpendicular line in two rows behind the cops-in-green. Another group of a hundred or so riot police in bleu breached the wall on the eastern side and started advancing on the crowd, occasionally shooting off CF gas into the mostly peaceful crowd (there were about 10 or so instigators throwing bottles, golf balls and such among the more than a thousand pacific protesters). Some people in the crowd threw back the gas canisters inside the perimeter. As I write this the same thing is going on in various locations. There reports on the radio that suggest rubber bullets and pepper spray are being used on the crowd. Helicopters are always above. It is believed that the top police organizers are in the helicopters giving orders to cops on the ground on how to act on the crowd. I have made a diagram of these events, as this can serve in court. At 6:50 p.m., one police officer (number on suit: 59262) ran up to the fence, climbed it and shot a can of gas directly into a protester's face at point-blank range, while the latter was putting up a banner on the fence. Independent reporters on the other side noted the injuries that this protester suffered, although most of the paid reporters were on the inside and unable to document the protesters' injuries and who exactly was violating the law and making everybody else pay for it. It was scene best described as chemical warfare, although people on the other side had no gas masks and neither were they police or military personnel from another country--just civilians kept out of the democratic process.