Foreign ministers from the eight wealthiest countries in the world gathered Wednesday in Whistler to talk about terrorism. But as the meeting got underway, so did the protests.
As big events go, this protest was small. Two busloads of protesters from the Coalition for Social Justice in Vancouver made up the small crowd.
There were more media representatives than protesters, and more police than the media and protesters combined.
The CSJ came armed with a document that outlined exactly what policy changes they'd like to see.
The protesters believe the anti-terror strategy currently embraced by the G8 is wrong. They believe 'spreading the wealth' of the G8 nations with poorer countries will reduce terrorism.
Protester Elsie Dean said the CSJ asked Canadian foreign affairs minister Bill Graham to receive the declaration, which she said "would mean a complete reversal of the present policies they're following."
In an unexpected move, the protesters were allowed to present their perspective in a short face-to-face meeting with Graham.
It was an example of a gentler approach to crowd control at the Summit. A special police-activist liason officer was there to keep both sides happy.
It was he who arranged for two representatives of the CSJ to deliver their message in person to the minister.
Without credentials, Dean and Phil Lyons were given a quick security check and escorted in the building for a five-minute interview.
Despite the unusual opportunity to meet the minister, Lyons expressed dismay at the "American security in a freer country like Canada."
"Well, we'll get our point heard," he acknowledged.
The G8 leaders will discuss such topics as nuclear proliferation, rebuilding Afghanistan, peace in the Mideast, and the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
G8 leaders will gather in Kananaskis, Alberta later this month.
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