MONTREAL (CP) - A low-key meeting of labour ministers from the G-8 group of industrialized nations will be dogged by anti-globalization protests, activists promised Thursday. Heavy security has been promised for the G-8 ministers, who are getting together Friday for an unannounced meeting with international union and business leaders at McGill University.
The meeting is a prelude to an official, closed-door meeting in Montreal that starts Friday and runs through to Saturday at an undisclosed location.
Federal Human Resources Minister Jane Stewart will chair the meeting.
Karina Chagnon, a spokeswoman for the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, said the meetings were a sham.
"The G-8 is the fuzzy mitten that drives the hidden hand of the market and the iron fist of the military," she told a handful of reporters in an outdoor news conference in driving rain. "The G-8 is like slavery. There is no way of reforming it. We must fight to abolish it."
She said that activists will gather Friday afternoon in a downtown park for a "democratic picnic" which will also include information booths and street theatre. There will then be a rush-hour march through downtown Montreal.
Chagnon said it was unlikely demonstrators would try and crash the meeting because they don't know its location.
Chagnon said protesters were also preparing to go to Ottawa on June 26-27 to demonstrate against the G-8 meeting to be held in Kananaskis, Alta., but was not specific about tactics.
She accused the G-8 of letting companies make maximum profits by eliminating labour norms and standards, slashing salaries and gutting unions.
The G-8 generally maintains it is trying to ease international trade.
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