- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2001

QUEBEC CITY — President Bush will be greeted by a massive police presence, a 12-foot-high fence festooned with brassieres and a giant billboard trumpeting the Quebec provincial governments nationalist goals when he visits for a trade summit this week.
As many as 20,000 people from across the United States and Canada are gathering to protest the Summit of the Americas, where 34 hemispheric leaders will discuss plans to expand NAFTA into a hemispheric Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Anti-globalist activists have spent months preparing to get their message across.
"This is a serious thing were doing, " said Joyce Kingsford, a volunteer with the New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Womens Center, which is collecting 300 bras with anti-FTAA messages emblazoned on them.
"Theyre an article of clothing thats completely distinct and only women wear, " she said.
To keep the bras and the protesters away from the leaders, summit organizers have erected a huge barricade of concrete blocks and chain-link fencing. Nicknamed the "Wall of Shame" by Canadian media, it is almost 12 feet high and stretches more than 21/2 miles through the city.
The protesters hope to hook their brassieres onto the fence peacefully, but other activists are bracing for civil disobedience. They have been holding "teach-ins" across North America, training for the possibility of violent clashes, tear gas and injuries.
"We respect the diversity of tactics and acknowledge there are a variety of ways to advance the debate, " said Jaggi Singh, an activist who was arrested for leading protesters at the 1997 Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vancouver.
"It didnt start with Seattle, and it isnt going to stop with Quebec, " Mr. Singh added. "Hopefully, we can continue this resistance against capitalist globalization way beyond Quebec."
Summit organizers say some protesters pose a "real threat" to the leaders safety and have obtained 6,000 police officers to help with security here. "We hope were wrong, " said Florent Gagne, head of the Quebec Province police force. "But I think we have to be realistic and look at what has happened in other cities."
Summit organizers clearly want to avoid another "Battle in Seattle, " where protesters shut down a World Trade Organization meeting amid tear gas and rubber bullets in November 1999. Protesters also tried to shut down meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington last April.
As in those cities, protesters from across the continent are expected to converge on Quebec. But that means U.S. residents will have to cross the Canadian border. To help them cross without incident, activists in Kingston, Ontario, have organized an Anti-FTAA Border Caravan a slow-moving convoy meant to disrupt the traffic on Canadas busiest highway, while picking up more supporters on the way to Quebec City.
"It is legal direct action, " said Dave Silburn, a member of the Peoples Community Union. "Driving at the minimum speed , we hope to reduce trade in half at that speed. Its a demonstration of how people with freedom of mobility and freedom of expression can cross borders the corporations, governments and bankers who are meeting in Quebec City, " he added.
Once here, the protesters will have to compete with another angry message this one from Quebecs separatist government.
The province has rented a huge electronic billboard, similar to those in New Yorks Times Square, to tell the world Quebec is a nation that wants nationhood.
It sought to raise the issue directly with summit delegates, but Canadas federal government turned down Premier Bernard Landrys request to speak to them since he is not the leader of a country.

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