Action in Ottawa- 27th of may

Commuters into the city of Ottawa were met by huge banners declaring "World Trade Organization - Global Government for the Rich" along with banners drawing attention to Chiapas and the MAI. Traffic was slowed down to a crawl creating a rather large traffic jam. Police and Ministry of Transportation officials rushed to the scene (although not quite as quickly as they would wish, as they got tied up in traffic!). Public response was 98% positive. This event received local media (radio) attention.

At noon, 100 demonstrators played a game of global soccer in front of the Royal Bank. Men in suits representing business, politicians and the WTO kicked a globe of the earth around while refusing to let anyone else play. Speakers included refugees from Guatamala and East Timor respectively. There was a lot of media (four or five networks) and good public response. Over 2000 leaflets were distributed to citizens. The action was held in a very popular area known as Sparks Street Mall. Much police presence. The bank was locked up for a while for fear that the demonstrators were planning to take it over. 


Actions in Toronto

In Canada, last Saturday in Toronto there were four arrests at the global street party. I am told there were a eight hundred to a thousand demonstrators who took over the streets for a few hours. Bloor Street (the target) is one of the busiest in Toronto. In Orangeville, Ontario, a small town, a few workers confronted the office of their parliamentary representative. In Winnipeg, 200 hundred marched through the streets, including the main intersection of Portage and Main. They eventually wound up at the Forks, which is the local market, where a demonstration was held.

In Regina, Saskatchewan 100 demonstrators, including sixty postal workers, blockaded the Royal Bank. The Royal Bank is one of the largest in the country and is a strong proponent of corporate globalism. In Ottawa, morning commuters were met by huge banners on the highway into the city that said "World Trade Organization - Global Government for the Rich", "No to Multilateral Agreement on Investment - Human need not corporate greed" and a banner from the Chiapas Support group. This created a large traffic jam and police intervention. Public support was strong. A demonstration was held in Ottawa later that day in the Sparks Street Mall, a very popular outdoor walkway and market. The Royal Bank was closed for fear of an occupation. Street theatre was used with men in suits wearing pig masks kicking around a globe of the earth. Approximately 50 participated in the action but many more spectators joined up. Over 1000 pieces of literature were distributed. Public response was quite favourable and there was local and some national media attention.

In Montreal, yesterday, there were over 100 arrests as we blockaded the "Conference du Montreal" where the President of the OECD, Donald Johnston, was speaking. There were approximately 1,000 demonstrators with some members of the public observing. In addition to the blockade of the Sheraton Centre, where the conference was being held, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (which included the Israeli consulate) were also blockaded. The conference was delayed by four or five hours as a result. It generated national media attention. People are still being held in jail.

index of may 98