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Protesters to crowd Quebec City's old quarter

10 June 2018

"We are here to protest and we are here to denounce the violence of the neoliberal policies of the G7 members".

The two-day meeting is nowhere near the protests, taking place about 120 kilometres to the northeast of Quebec City in the Charlevoix region.

Amnesty International, along with a human rights advocacy group in Quebec, are leading an 44-person observer mission to monitor the protests.

Trump, who aides say has little interest in multilateralism, resumed his tirade against Canada early on Friday and appeared prepared to exit talks early without a consensus agreement among all seven countries.

Quebec City police said they arrested six people for unlawful assembly and one for obstructing the work of a police officer over the course of the day.

On Thursday evening, rows of officers in protective gear watched closely as protesters gathered for what organizers had described as a "festive mass demonstration against the G7, capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, racism, and borders".

Canada and Mexico, the other members of NAFTA, have been frustrated by what they see as unacceptable USA demands in slow-moving talks to modernize the deal.

Cyndi Pare, spokeswoman for Quebec City's police force, said it would be "inappropriate" to speculate in advance about police actions. However, police was present to keep vigil on the protestors.

"Police are trained to use force with flexibility and discretion".

"You're going to have the majority of the G7 countries wanting to deal with this, as was the case with the finance ministers when they met in Whistler (a resort municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia)", said Paul Martin, who is also a former Canadian finance minister, in an interview.

"It must obviously be done with respect and, above all, security".

They said the fortified enclosure and security checkpoints would be intimidating to protesters, and noted that the site was some distance away from where the leaders will be meeting.

Activists with global aid organization Oxfam donned giant heads of each of the seven G7 leaders and performed some theatre outside Quebec's provincial legislature building.

An actor wearing a papier-mache mask of Donald Trump wielded a feather duster, while a likeness of Justin Trudeau carved a turkey next to laundry-folding Angela Merkel. "They shut down the legislature; 10,000 provincial civil servants were told to stay home; daycares have been closed".

Frederique Gendron, assistant manager of soap store Lush, said that after speaking with the company's Canadian headquarters in Vancouver, they chose to barricade the store and close it for the safety of the employees. "It's just easier to board up the store".

Protesters to crowd Quebec City's old quarter