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Indymedia report: Looking Back at the G8 Demos in Calgary

global indymedia's report on the G8 Demos in Calgary

On June 26, the most expensive street soccer game in history took place in Calgary. After months of government, media, and police scare tactics, a garrison of more than 3000 police stationed in the city, attempts at infiltration by white supremacists, and $300,000,000 spent on security costs to protect the world's leaders from dissent, protests against the G8 summit culminated with soccer games taking place in two of the city's busiest intersections. The protests opened with a 3 hour snake march [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | audio 1 | 2 ] of more than 4,000 persons that included union participation [ audio ]. It split into two subsequent actions: one, a symbolic di-in [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] and global knit-in [ 1 ], and two, a march of 1,500 headed to the west of the city towards the red zone. The latter action began with high tensions and a shoving match in front of a McDonalds [ 1 ], but relaxed as it moved to the downtown core, with drumming, chanting, dancing, and soccer games sans police [ 1 ].

Later, activists and unionists gathered at Riley Park for a free picnic and rally with speakers and music. Later, a 150 car caravan [ 1 | 2 ] left Calgary to challenge the security perimeter at Kananaskis, and passed two police checkpoints before being forced to stop.

Other actions held in Alberta included a parade on June 23 [ 1 | 2 | 3 | video ], the June 25 Gap action [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] and 'Show-Down at the Hoe-Down' [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6 | 7 | audio ], a chalk Peoples Security Perimeter, the "Rolling Sunlight" solar truck, and a solidarity march in Edmonton.

Numerous groups expressed their views at the convergence, with press conferences held by the Halifax Initiative, Medicins sans Frontieres, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle, the Upfront Media Collective, and Greenpeace on the Rio + 10 Summit and nuclear waste transport. The G6B Summit also issued its recommendations and statements on the Kyoto protocol [ video 1 | 2 ], while G8Watch issued a response to Canadian Prime Minister Chretien. Other issues focused upon include structural adjustment and African development.

For more, read these summaries and analyses [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] of the 2002 G8 protests in Alberta.