Ottawa: Flags of Resistance

Revolutionary Worker #1158, July 14, 2002, posted at

Anti-G8 actions were held in solidarity with the Alberta protests in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and most notably Ottawa. We received the following report on the Ottawa "Take the Capital" actions on June 26-27th from a distributor of A World to Win who went to the protests.


Thousands defied driving, all-day rains in Ottawa for actions in unity with the protests against the G8 in Alberta. Most were young people from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and there was a "hard core" of anti-capitalists seasoned by the powerful anti-globalization protests in Quebec City and Ottawa of the previous year.

There was a determination to "take the capital"--to denounce Canada's role in the global rip-off and its complicity with the U.S.-led "war on terrorism." On June 26, this was concentrated in a powerful snake march of over 3,000 people that wove through the streets of downtown Ottawa, disrupting "business as usual" for over three hours.

There was also a march to the U.S. Embassy. Within the march, there were hundreds who carried red flags, including youth with their faces covered by red bandannas stenciled with the communist hammer and sickle symbol. The contingent was brought together by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada-- Organizing Committees, along with the Filipino youth group Kabataang and others. Some carried beautifully made "shields," including one with a painting of a woman fighter in Nepal with the words "Women in Revolution in Nepal," another of Norman Bethune (the Canadian doctor and internationalist who died in 1938 in China while helping the Chinese revolution), one of Mao Tsetung, and another of a Palestinian fighter.

As the march reached the U.S. Embassy it was joined by 200 people coming from the snake march which was just ending. An American flag and effigy of Uncle Sam were burned at the gates of the Embassy. Chants and brief statements in French and English exposed the U.S.-led war, called for defense of the people's war in Nepal and against the threat of U.S.-backed intervention, and support for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

June 27, there was a "No One Is Illegal: a March of 1000 Flags of Resistance" action, sponsored by over 100 organizations. The call for the march declared, "Part of the G8's declared agenda includes the so-called `war on terrorism.' Their self-serving war has meant state terrorism against civilian populations throughout the global South, including Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, the Philippines and elsewhere. The same war on terrorism has also meant the increasing criminalization of immigrants and refugees in North America, with recent security and immigration laws used as a pretext to marginalize and further scapegoat vulnerable communities."

Amidst red, black and Palestinian flags and banners against globalization and for immigrants' rights, over 5,000 people marched for hours in a tour of Canada's hated headquarters of oppression. The first stop was the U.S. Embassy; then the British Embassy, where Britain's role as a reliable partner-in-crime with the U.S. was sharply denounced; then past the Ministry of Justice with speeches exposing Canada's counterpart to the "U.S. Patriot Act" of domestic spying and repression; then the Israeli Embassy and the headquarters of Canada's immigration service. Marchers concluded by going right up the steps of Canada's Parliament Hill.

The police did not launch any major physical attacks against demonstrators but they tried to create a climate of fear before and during the march. They visited the protesters' welcome center, intrusively videotaped protesters, arrested at least one person, and threatened to tow a protest sound van. Teams of police video camera crews went right into the demonstration to get close-up photos of many demonstrators and police video crews photographed people as they got off of the chartered buses.

Hundreds of flyers in French and English from the World People's Resistance Movement were distributed in the protests, along with some material from the revolutionary internationalist journal A World to Win .

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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