Field near sleepy Huntsville ready for G8 protests

Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:57pm EDT
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By Cameron French

HUNTSVILLE, Ontario (Reuters) - In a "designated protest zone" in a field outside Huntsville, Ontario, a lone demonstrator waited hopefully for action on Thursday as the tiny town prepared for its moment on the international stage.

There was nothing else in the field outside the sleepy lakeside community except rows of portable toilets, a parking area for buses and a small group of police writing down names of journalists who stopped by for pictures.

The ritzy Deerhurst resort, just outside Huntsville, is the site of the G8 summit on Friday and Saturday, when the leaders of the world's most powerful countries gather in seclusion to mull the world's problems.

In the heart of the bucolic Muskoka lake district two hours north of Toronto, where the city's elite have their weekend homes, this is not a place that is used to demonstrators. But they are being politely, if cautiously, catered for.

Dick Averns, the lone protester, found the remote designated demonstrating zone disappointing. "It's designed to make it difficult for people to speak out," he said.

He said his banner, "Ambivalence Blvd", was a comment on the lack of freedom of access at such international meetings.

Journalists looking to visit the media center set up for the G8 summit there need to take a 3 a.m. shuttle from Toronto.

In Huntsville, police turned back a group of canoeists trying to get to Deerhurst by water to protest against the summit and the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations taking place in Toronto after the G8 summit ends.   Continued...