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(en) Canada, Media, Anarchists organizing to halt security fair

Date Sun, 06 Apr 2008 11:25:06 +0300



A local anarchist group is threatening to shut down a massive security and
technology fair in Ottawa, but police are keeping a close eye on their plans.
The CANSEC event, which is in its 10th year, is described as a "gathering of war
profiteers" by protesters. ---- The Network to Oppose War and Racism and the PGA
Bloc Ottawa are teaming up in an attempt to thwart the exhibition, which is
being held at the Ottawa Congress Centre on Wednesday and Thursday. ---- An
event posting on the PGA Bloc website is calling to "shut down the CANSEC arms
fair" and "shut down the war machine." ---- Organizers have posted an animation
video on YouTube depicting participants of the exhibition and masked
demonstrators creating havoc.

PGA Bloc could not be reached for comment last night.

While the convention is expected to have its own security, Ottawa police have
been doing intelligence work on potential protests.

Const. Isabelle Lemieux said it's common for the exhibition, like many major
events in Ottawa, to hire extra paid-duty officers.

Still, police have been doing their own research into the planned demonstrations.

"We'll be there as we are for any demonstration," Lemieux said.

Police will try and work with demonstrators to create a "safe area" for peaceful
protests, Lemieux said. At the same time, police are also mindful of the
demonstrators' call to shut the event down.

"We're aware of it and we're preparing for it," Lemieux said.

A spokesperson for the event said yesterday organizers had not met with police
about security, noting security protocol hasn't changed over the past few years.

Demonstrators plan two separate marches on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a
Thursday march to the Congress Centre organized by PGA Bloc, the city's most
vocal anarchist group.
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