Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 26, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Facts on the G-8 summit
Delegates, protesters gear up
By Carol Harrington and James Stevenson
CALGARY — A sticky, sweaty Tuesday night on the eve of the G-8 summit was the setting for two very different get-togethers.
At Stampede Park, just east of downtown in the shadow of the Saddledome, the Hoot and Holler gala got the ball rolling as the first festive event of the Group of Eight summit.
Hundreds of reporters and G-8 delegates from around the world strolled outside, wearing gift white Stetsons, gladhanding with Calgary’s mayor, eating barbecued beef on a bun and posing rodeo-rider-style for pictures on a stuffed bull.
“Tonight, of course, is an opportunity to showcase what Calgary is all about,” said Mayor David Bronconnier, dressed in the local trademark blue jeans and western shirt.
"Great things are happening in this community and we feel it’s important to show just some old fashioned western hospitality to visitors that are here.”
About IO blocks away at Central Memorial Park, about 1,000 G-8 protesters — most of them young adults dressed in halter tops, jean shorts and rag-tag military camouflage wear — gathered while police on bicycles circled nearby and the Calgary police helicopter buzzed overhead.
Their banners were words scrawled on bedsheets: Corporate Rule Advances Poverty and We’re All in the Same Boat. Some had homemade T-shirts with the circle and red line through the G-8 logo.
Another flew an American flag with corporate logos — McDonald’s, IBM — instead of the traditional stars in the upper left corner.
“The city of Calgary is throwing a party a few blocks over there to show how great the city is and to continue to lie about the Alberta
A demonstrator wearing a customized gas mask marches in the streets of Calgary yesterday as part of a protest against the G-8 Economic Summit.
Advantage!” one protester on a makeshift stage shouted to cheers and applause at the event, dubbed the Showdown at the Hoe-down.
The group then marched down a major avenue toward the Hoot and Holler. Police in squad cars and on bicycles kept ahead of them, closing off roads and diverting traffic as the protesters went past.
Sitting with a beer and watching the protest from the balcony of a pub, Luke Molyneux shook his head.
“I’m pretty cynical about most of their motives. They are into it for the scene. Most of
them don’t know what they’re talking about.”
The rally came to a stop on Macleod Trail, a major artery into the downtown, across from the G-8 party. About 50 people danced and shouted around a boom box playing hard rock tunes while the rest of the protesters milled about, chatting and smoking cigarettes.
Some bounced on a trampoline. Others played hackey-sack.
Police diverted traffic while officers on bicycles flanked protesters on both sides of the road. The riot squad hung in the background.
It was the second large protest rally in three days against the G-8 summit of world leaders, which begins today in the nearby mountain resort of Kananaskis.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien is hosting leaders from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan.
On Sunday, a labour-sponsored protest through downtown was noisy but peaceful. About 2,500 people blew whistles, flew flags and dressed up as big-headed puppets to protest the G-8 policies they feel help only the rich while exploiting the poor and harming the environment.
Earlier yesterday, the protests in Calgary took an X-rated turn when dozens of G-8 protesters stripped on the trendy downtown Stephen Avenue mall to protest a clothing store they say exploits Third World workers.
The strip action, titled We’d Rather Wear Nothing than Wear Gap, occurred outside a Gap clothing store. Women stripped off their shirts to reveal carefully positioned No-G8 stickers.
Some men stripped naked. At one point, six activists turned their backs to the crowd and pulled down their underwear to reveal a cheeky message — Boycott Gap!
RCMP and Calgary police stood along with scores of onlookers and camera-clickers. No arrests were made.
Facts on the Group of Eight summit today and Thursday in Kananaskis. Alta.:
HOST: Prime Minister Jean Chretien G-8 LEADERS COMING: (ieurge W. Bush (United States), Tony Blair (United Kingdom), Jacques Chirac (France), Silvio Berlusconi (Italy), Gerhard Schroeder (Germany), Junichiro Koizumi (Japan), Vladimir Putin (Russia).
MAIN ISSUES: Response from G-8 leaders on proposed economic aid and action plan for Africa; global economic issues; the fight against terrorism.
DURATION: 30 hours over two days.
LOCATION: Kananaskis Village, IOO kilometres west of Calgary on eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains. Village part of Kananaskis Country, a 4,000-square-kilometre recreation area.
OT HERS INVITED: Jose Maria Aznar (president of Spain and president of Council of the European Union) Romano Prodi (president of European Commission) and Kofi Annan (secretary-general of the United Nations).
AFRICAN LEADERS INVITED: Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria), Olusegun Ohasanjo (Nigeria), Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal). TOT AL DELEGATES: 400 SECURITY: More than 5,000 soldiers and police patrolling Kananaskis and Calgary. Kananaskis protected by CF-18 fighters, armoured personnel carriers, helicopters and rocket launchers.
Calgary has set up concrete barriers around key buildings and has water cannon, armoured rescue vehicles, pepper spray and tear gas for lawbreaking protesters.
PROTESTS: Protest marches planned for Calgary and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during summit.
Chretien remains confident Africa key item on agenda
CONTINUED FROM PAGE Al
Chretien was the first to arrive for the G-8 summit at this remote village playground via a convoy of military helicopters.
The spectacular Kananaskis ridge, with a soaring Mount Kidd, served as a backdrop. At least 1,000 soldiers, including sharpshooters, have been camped out on its snow-covered slopes for weeks.
Guarded by laser-guided antiaircraft missiles, tanks and helicopters, the leaders will be far from protesters HO kilometres away in Calgary, if not the bears, eagles and elk that regularly inhabit the magnificent mountain retreat.
When asked if he was confident he could keep the summit’s agenda on Africa, Chretien replied: “Very.”
“The agenda is already fixed,” said Chretien, who will chair the meetings. “The second day is Africa. We have two days
G-8 110-fly zone stalls B.C. towns skeeter war
CRAN-BROOK, B.C. — First it was flights in and out of the Cranbrook Regional Airport. Now it’s the war against mosquitoes that’s being disrupted by the G-8 Summit in nearby Kananaskis, Alta.
Kendra Lewis, mosquito control program co-ordi-nator for the city of Cranbrook and the Regional District of East Kootenay, was all set to spray mosquitoes by helicopter in the Wasa Flats area yesterday.
Lewis then learned she couldn’t go ahead.
“I can’t fly because of the G-8 Summit,” she said. “Nobody is allowed to fly around here from Tuesday through Friday.”
As a result, the helicopter spray program has been disrupted in three areas, she said.
“I’ll just have to treat everything the best way I can now but the kill counts from before were really good.”
together. We can discuss a few subjects in two days.”
“The agenda is fixed and the privilege belongs to the chair.” But Bush made it equally clear he intends to raise the issue today, when the G-8 leaders will discuss terrorism, tension on the Asian sub-continent and the Middle East.
“The Palestinians need new leadership,” Bush said. “New, elected leadership. They need a new constitution. They need the international donor community to participate.”
Even as chairman of this year’s meeting, Chretien won’t be able to dismiss the issue so easily once the formal sessions begin.
Bush will be seeking international backing at the summit for his blueprint.
He may have a tough sales job. Leaders of the G-8 nations, while eager for U.S. leadership in Middle East diplomacy, tend to give Palestinian interests com
paratively greater weight than the United States.
Bush laid out tough conditions for his proposed path to provisional Palestinian statehood within about 18 months and a final settlement in three years. He called for replacing Arafat with a new leadership “not compromised by terror,” along with democratic reforms, a constitution and a new security arrangement that Israel can trust.
Chretien and Bush also planned to discuss bilateral issues, including the long-running softwood lumber dispute between the two countries. Bush chuckled and shook his head when he was asked about the nasty trade war over lumber.
“There are some problems on occasion, but we have the kind of relationship where we can be very frank about it and work it out and the opportunities and the benefits from our relationship far exceed the problems that face us,’ he said.
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