G8 to Atlantica, Resistance is Global

21 arrested in Halifax, Canada, during demonstration against Atlantica economic conference. Hundreds Confront Atlantica, Keep Cops Running
by IMC Friday, Jun. 15, 2007

Hundreds Confront Atlantica, Keep Cops Running

Early reports indicate 16 confirmed arrests
A noon-time march drew about 400 this afternoon starting from Victoria Park. Organized as the largest anti-Atlantica event this weekend, the march included a large, direct action contingent. Speakers at Parade Square emphasized the disastrous effects that the Atlantica International Region would have upon Atlantic Canada and New England. Speakers included Joseph Jardany from the Halifax/Dartmouth District Labour Council, Brendan from the Ecology Action Centre, the Halifax Raging Grannies, Mustafa from Block the Empire Montreal, and Halifax's own political hip-hop catastrophe EMC and the Hermit.

Most bystanders or onlookers at the event that I spoke to either had no idea what Atlantica was, or had a hazy and distrustful understanding of the proposal.

The march departed at approximately 1:30, and slowly snaked down Spring Garden, with demonstrators chanting "A-I-M-S, that's the way you spell distress", "BMO, Irving Oil, How many unions will you spoil" and "Atlantica: Shut it down." As the crowd arrived near Parade Square in downtown Halifax, the anti-capitalist contingent, numbering at least 100 split off and started to run towards the World Trade and Convention Centre, the site of the Atlantica conference. A green contingent remained in Parade Square for speeches. A few paint bombs were thrown at cops, as well as one smoke bomb, after which the Anti-Capitalist contingent/Black Block turned on their heels and headed down Argyle St, away from the loose line of police that had gathered in front of the WTCC. This snake march then headed towards the Spring Garden library, where police began pushing and grabbing protestors. I witnessed one arrest, and pepper spray made a brief appearance.

At this point, there was a split in the march, with some people heading up Brunswick and others moving towards the library. Those at the library were apparently pepper-sprayed.

At some point, a group of black blockers were corralled by police on Brunswick St. Accounts indicate that as many as 8, perhaps nine were pepper-sprayed, even while they were lying on the ground, clearly under arrest. One protestor was knocked completely unconscious by police after being repeatedly tazered while lying on the ground. An ambulance did not arrive for more than 5 minutes.

At present, the direct action group has dissipated, and there is a small group of approximately 30 protestors gathering in front of the WTCC doors, in front of a line of riot cops. As I type, accounts seeming to be indicating that police staged another arrest of a demonstrator. 16 arrests have been confirmed, the actual number is likely to be many more.

Mainstream media on the scene swarmed the arrests looking for sensational footage. When asked what would likely make it to air in stories about Atlantica, these journalists apologetically claimed that their editors would probably subsume the story with the usual cops-and-paint-bombs cliches.

19 Atlantica protesters released on bail
CBC News: Monday, June 18, 2007

It took all day Monday for a Halifax provincial court judge to deal with 19 people arrested during an anti-Atlantica protest on Friday.

Each of the accused appeared separately in court before being released on bail with conditions.

The judge ordered each of them not to associate with other protesters or take part in any protests or public demonstrations before they return to court the first week of September.

The arraignments were delayed because 11 of the accused initially would only identify themselves as John or Jane Doe.

Many of the protesters are from outside Nova Scotia, with several coming from the United States, and had to put up cash sureties before being released.

About 30 supporters of the accused camped outside the provincial court building, or sat in court to hear the proceedings.

The protesters are facing more than 70 charges following clashes with police. They were charged with unlawful assembly, assault on police, mischief and weapons-related offences after the demonstration turned nasty.

Protesters lobbed paint-filled light bulbs at the windows of downtown banks and onto police officers. The officers were also pelted with rocks and firecrackers.

Police responded with pepper spray and stun guns. Two people were injured.

The protesters were in Halifax to demonstrate against Atlantica 2007, a conference organized by the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce and the Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce.

Conference-goers discussed the idea of a free trade zone taking in the Atlantic Provinces, the northeastern United States and eastern Quebec.

Atlantica protesters released after spending weekend in Halifax jail
Canadian Press, Published: Monday, June 18, 2007

HALIFAX (CP) - Eighteen protesters arrested in Halifax after a demonstration turned violent have been released from police custody on conditions.

A total of 21 people were charged after Friday's demonstration against a conference on the Atlantica freer trade proposal. A couple of dozen people filled a downtown Halifax courtroom to show their support for the accused, and raised their bail money. Some of the accused pulled shirts over their heads to hide their faces from news cameras, but smiled and waved as they entered the courtroom.

A 17-year-old youth from Sussex, N.B., was also reportedly released after appearing in youth court earlier today.

Two others are expected to appear in court at a later date.

Pierre Blais, part of a larger group of protesters, says he believes some demonstrators were provoked to act violently after police began using stun guns on others.

Blais says the actions of the protesters were "an expression of legitimate rage."

Police have laid more than 70 charges including unlawful assembly, assaulting police and mischief.

Ontario: Anti-Atlantica Solidarity
news.infoshop.org: Monday, June 18 2007 @ 12:17 AM PDT

The main branch of The Bank of Montreal was hit with spray paint and had a window smashed on the night of June 17th in Hamilton, Ontario. This was an action in solidarity with those who were fighting the Atlantica free trade zone in Halifax and those who have been arrested this past weekend.

The BMO is one of the primary corporate sponsors of the summit and of course a proponent of the plan which promises to dismantle workers rights, devastate the environment and limit health care and social spending, all in the name of making the corporate elite even more money.

Let the BMO in your neighborhood know how you feel.
break the banks, smash atlantica!