Handful of exuberant demonstrations mark first day of G7 summit
Published Friday, June 8, 2018 11:42AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 8, 2018 6:09PM EDT
Anti-G7 protests in the streets of Quebec City have been mainly peaceful so far, with a few moments of tension.
An early demonstration in Becancour organized by opponents of the G7 summit was quickly shut down by police and declared illegal.
Approximately 100 people loitered on Boulevard Sainte-Anne as of 7:30 a.m. on Friday, part of the group "Reseau de Resistance Anti-G7."
Their intent was to disrupt traffic and protest the leaders summit - which opens officially in La Malbaie later in the day.
After a brief confrontation with police and chanting of anti-capitalist slogans, the demonstrators dispersed calmly and police re-opened the road.
Police did not confirm whether any arrests were made.
It was an otherwise quiet morning in Quebec City, where tensions where high ahead of the G7 summit.
So quiet, that police officers on-duty stopped to post for photos in front of the National Assembly.
But the peace didn't last all that long - just before noon, another group of 50-60 protestors set fire to a couch and blocked the entrance of the autoroute to block road access to La Malbaie.
Police tried to use sound grenades to disperse the crowd.
Riot police quickly declared that march illegal because demonstrators never provided them with a route. In fact, it seemed as though they were making it up as they went along through the streets of Old Quebec.
There was a general feeling of disappointment over the turnout at the marches - but some protestors said they were intimidated by the large police presence on the ground.
Here's a taste of what the demonstrators had to say to the leaders attending the summit in La Malbaie:
- "We will not condemn acts that have not been committed. We are here to denounce the violence from the neoliberal policies of the G7 members." -- Alice-Anne Simard, Eau Secours
- "I'm marching with a simple message to open the border. It's important that we all unify. What's happening in Quebec is, the right and populist politicians are (using) refugees and migrants to essentially try to blame them for austerity messages, which have nothing to do with migrants coming into the country and everything to do with political choices." -- Moira Kilmainham, protester from Montreal.
- "We all have to ensure life on earth before profit. Each has to draw a conclusion on their own role in it. And it's become urgent to say that we have this as an objective as the planet cries out in distress." -- Denis Breton, protester from Quebec City.
- "What future for our children?" -- protest sign
- "There you go, $600 million in the garbage" -- protest sign.