Is that a SWAT team? An extraordinary showing of police surveillance officers stood
watch as a diverse group of protestors shouted anti-Harper slogans outside a
Moncton high school when Conservative leader Stephen Harper arrived.
Officers with long-lens cameras perched on the rooftop and shot pictures of the demonstrators.
It merely seemed to raise the protestors' voices if not their spirits.
They included public service workers, anti-war advocates, artists, Acadian cultural activists, women's groups and widows of victims of Agent Orange.
None were permitted inside as Harper prepared to address a partisan rally of supporters.
“Canada will never be the same if Harper gets a majority,” said Paul Leblanc, an executive of N.B.'s Actra union, there to protest cuts to arts and culture funding.
Inside the show got off to a bumpy false start.
After an enthusiastic pump-up-the-crowd introduction by campaign co-chair Bernard Lord, people cheered as he introduced the “next prime minister of Canada.”
But then, no PM.
The applause died, and so did Lord's stand-up routine.
”I'm sure he'll be here soon,” said Lord, sitting down.
“Premature adulation,” quipped a technical operator.