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Protesters travelled from all across Ontario, Quebec, and even the eastern provinces to attend a noontime rally outside Ottawa’s city hall and then march on Canada’s Parliament buildings. They welcomed the president with banners and chants, like ‘war criminal, go home’ and ‘drop Bush, not bombs’.
At the rally protesters spoke against Bush’s decision to invade Iraq (Canada decided against sending troops to Iraq, a decision supported by the majority of the country), the behaviour of the US military and the president’s hope that Canada will sign up to America’s missile defence programme. Martin has promised an open debate in the House of Commons on Canada’s role in missile defence.
Ottawa’s downtown was brought to a standstill as the march, with Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ blaring on a sound truck, wound its way to Parliament Hill. The highlight of the march was the toppling of a 3 metre-high papier maché Bush effigy parodying the toppling of Saddam’s statue the moment war ‘ended’ last April. The Bush statue was quickly destroyed by stomping protesters.
Some marchers decided to take more direct action and made their way to the nearby Chateau Laurier hotel, where Bush was supposed to be speaking. Police tactical units blocked protesters from entering the hotel. Some bottles and several paint balloons were thrown at police, who responded with pushing and pepper spray.
As the sun faded, the action moved back to Parliament Hill for a candlelight vigil. Demonstrators were joined by New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, independent MP Carolyn Parrish, and US war resister Brandon Hughey. Parrish, notorious for her anti-Bush statements that got her expelled from the Liberal Party last month, drew the loudest cheers from the crowd. She reiterated her opposition to missile defence and called shield supporters a ‘coalition of the idiots’.
The demonstrations in Ottawa were largely peaceful. There were no major incidents and police reported only 21 arrests.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns