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

QUEBEC — 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.

Members of the African diaspora in Canada are hoping to grab some attention around 10 a.m. with a protest outside Quebec’s legislature denouncing the invitation to the G7 of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whom they accuse of war crimes.

Activists are holding what they call an “alternative G7” outside the legislature beginning around noon, which will be followed by a large protest march that will include members of labour unions and at least one Quebec provincial politician, Amir Khadir from the left-wing Quebec solidaire.

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 largest march so far, held Thursday night, which ended peacefully and with three people arrested.

The following day, a tense standoff between protesters and police 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 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.

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