Anti-G7 activists execute full day of protest in Quebec City, comedy show at night

Anti-G7 activists are planning a full day of protests in Quebec City today, including a large march through the streets of the historic old quarter, as well as a nighttime show featuring popular comedians.

Dressed in checkered shirts, Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel cast a fishing line together while Donald Trump set a globe ablaze during a protest staged by Oxfam at Parc de la Francophonie. The characters, bearing the image of G7 leaders, used the stunt to draw attention to the urgent state of climate change. 

Oxfam Quebec‘s Executive Director, Denise Byrnes, said that persistent droughts in southern countries are particularly affecting women farmers – who have to continue moving to survive.

Byrnes said she hopes leaders can at least make a commitment to tackle climate change duing the G7. 

Members of the African diaspora in Canada began a protest outside Quebec‘s legislature around 10 a.m., denouncing Rwandan President Paul Kagame‘s invitation to the summit. They believe he‘s responsible for war crimes.

Activists held what they called an "alternative G7" outside the legislature at noon, followed by a large protest march including members of labour unions and at least one Quebec provincial politician, Amir Khadir from the left-wing Quebec solidaire.

The protest scene so far 

Since Thursday, anti-G7 protesters have taken to the streets in a series of public stunts and actions, but their largely peaceful demonstrations have contrasted in grandeur with the millions of dollars spent on security for the summit.

The two-day meeting is nowhere near the protests, taking place about 120 kilometres to the northeast of Quebec City in the Charlevoix region.

At most, a few hundred people took part in the which ended peacefully and with three people arrested.

The following day, on a road leading to the summit site of La Malbaie in the early morning also ended calmly.

Police chased small pockets of activists through the streets of Quebec City for the rest of the day on Friday, but aside from a few pieces of furniture set on fire in the street, the demonstrations were calm.

Quebec City police said four men and two women were arrested Friday for participating in an illegal protest and for disrupting the work of an officer.

The protests are scheduled to culminate today with a comedy show at a community centre that will include popular performers Fred Dube and Guillaume Wagner.

Amnesty International: Protest watchdogs

 Amnesty International, along with a human rights advocacy group in Quebec, are leading an 44-person observer mission to monitor the protests.

Spokesperson Nicole Filion said observers have noticed some police carrying assault rifles, which she said could scare people out of exercising their right to protest. Observers also witnessed police pointing the weapons towards protesters and, at times, journalists.

"Our group spoke to the police about the assault rifles," she said in an interview. "They told us in this age of terrorism, they are needed to protect people.

"We don‘t think assault rifles are needed for crowd control."

Quebec City police said four men and two women were arrested Friday for participating in an illegal protest and for disrupting the work of an officer.

The protest actions are scheduled to culminate today with a comedy show at a community centre that will include popular performers Fred Dube and Guillaume Wagner.