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05/18/2010

Protesting the summits: Country Edition

G8 protest zone

Muskoka-bound protesters are being asked to take their placards and megaphones to a Huntsville-area farmer's field, announced today as the official protest zone for the G8 summit.

The "designated speech area" is situated on a private property north of Hwy. 60 on the west side of Golf Course Rd., approximately 500 metres from Earl's Rd, according to RCMP spokesperson Julie Morel.

The site will be located 2 kilometres outside of downtown Huntsville and about 7 kilometres west of the Deerhurst Resort, where G8 leaders will be convening.

"The OPP has a long history of supporting the lawful exercise of constitutional rights," said Chief Superintendent Brian Deevy in a press release. "The designated speech area will provide protesters with a safe and secure location to do that." 

OPP will be responsible for overseeing the protest zone and officials promise to stock the area with "basic sanitary installations." Bus parking spaces will also be arranged but "to help ensure public safety," protesters will not be allowed to camp overnight, officials say.

According to Morel, organizers have no plans yet to construct a staging area or provide a video feed of demonstrations -- both of which were promised to Toronto protesters by G20 officials.

Today's announcement comes after complaints G8 officials have been dragging their feet in designating an official protest zone for Huntsville. Nonetheless, G8 protesters should probably still keep their plans flexible anyway -- as Torontonians know well enough, designated protest areas have a tendency to move around.

Comments

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The Government made a mistake in choosing its venues for both the G8 and G20 Conferences.

The G8 conference should be moved to CASINO RAMA on First Nations Land.

The G20 Conference should be moved to YORK UNIVERSITY where anarchists call home. Any destruction of property there would be welcome.

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