Canadian Communists March Against Bush

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

Ottawa, Canada ( - Canadian anti-government, anti-corporate activists on Sunday marched through their nation's capital to protest a meeting scheduled this week among Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

The three leaders are meeting Monday and Tuesday as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a cooperative effort among the three nations to "increase security and enhance prosperity ... through greater cooperation and information sharing," according to the U.S. government's SPP Web site.

Several thousands protestors, many from communist or anarchist backgrounds, gathered on the grounds of the Canadian Parliament to protest the meeting, which has stirred controversy here and in the United States because of its secrecy.

The protestors also led a march past the Mexican and U.S. embassies criticizing the SPP, Bush, privatization and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The demonstrations remained peaceful under the watchful eye of the Ottawa Police, which was beefed up with officers brought in from Toronto and other nearby cities.

"The SPP is not about our security, it's not about our prosperity," Barbara Byers, executive vice president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said during the rally. "It's about the corporate class being able to get a stranglehold, further stranglehold on this country." (See Video)

The Canadian Labour Congress is a nationwide union umbrella group similar to AFL-CIO or Change to Win Federation in the United States .

"We want this deal [SPP] out in the open where we can all see it and we can all adjudicate whether it's a good deal for us," Byers said. "They're not letting us see it because they know it's not a good deal for us."

The demonstrations kicked off several days of protests for the SPP meeting, which is taking place 50 miles away in Montebello, Quebec. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the meeting has raised concerns among leftists in Canada and some conservatives in America.

Canadian opponents worry the secretive meetings are laying the groundwork for a U.S.-based corporate takeover of Canadian health regulations and natural resources, including oil and water.

Opponents in the United States are concerned the meetings will forfeit U.S. sovereignty to Mexico on issues such as border security, leading to a "North American Union" with open borders, common currency and a "NAFTA Superhighway" connecting Mexico and Canada .

"[T]he victory of the SPP secret negotiations would make a serious defeat to the popular sovereignty of the masses of the Canadian and Mexican peoples," said a flyer handed out at the protest attributed to three Canadian communist groups.

"The Security and Prosperity Partnership will subordinate Mexican, Canadian and U.S. state and local governments to the economic, military and political interests of big capital's world domination strategy," the flyer added.

Opponents of the SPP will continue to protest the meetings Monday with demonstrations near the summit site in Montebello.

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