About a dozen Surété du Quebec officers stood guard outside a Stephen Harper rally in Drummondville.
Inside, more RCMP security officers.
Far from Harper's earshot or sightlines, about 30 students and young people beat bongo drums, and held up a banner that read "Harper Go Home. This is in English so you can understand."
The demonstration featured some performance art. A girl in a t-shirt bloodied in the back among others lay on the ground in silent protest.
Eric Faucher handed out leaflets against Harper's government on "censorship, Afghanistan, Kyoto, fetal rights, arts cuts, homophobia, racism and sexism."
"We're against everything he stands for," said Faucher, 18.
Gary Fontaine, a pizza shop worker, said Harper "may have recognized us as a nation, but he's laughing at us."
It's unlikely Harper even saw them. On his tightly-scripted tour, the Conservative leader has held no spontaneous encounters with members of the public. All his photo opportunities, all his announcements and all his rallies are attended by people who are invited and screened by the party in advance.