As world leaders gathered in the Charlevoix region of the province of Quebec on Thursday for the G7 Summit, protesters were already getting organized and would hit the street that evening, with rolling protests the following days throughout the summit.
The government spent $600 million on the overall organization of the Summit, with 70 per cent purely for security. The total of about $420 million paid for between 8,000 and 9,000 security personnel. Authorities were criticized for the presence of police officers equipped with 5.56mm assault rifles, variants of the American M-4 or Canadian equivalent C-8 rifles.
While protests at these summits have been intense in the past, leading the authorities to anticipate the worst, the protests here were small in numbers and tame in intensity, allowing for some surreal scenes where more cops and journalists were seen than protesters. At most, a few hundred people took part in the largest march, held Thursday night, which ended peacefully and with three people arrested.
Friday's protests started in Beauport early in the morning, about five kilometers away from the International Media Centre in downtown Quebec City, and were followed by another around noon, and a final mid afternoon, ending in a kettle maneuver by the authorities on the historic Plains of Abraham.
Police actions appeared heavy-handed at times, but overall restrained. On Thursday evening, as the largely peaceful march approached the media centre at the Centre des Congrès de Québec, local authorities ordered journalists inside and locked down the building, preventing journalists that were not already outside the wire from covering the protest. On Friday, journalists were also kept away from observing and photographing the arrest of militants, and a photojournalist was pushed down a steep hill by a police officer on the Plains of Abraham, resulting in a 20-meter tumble drop. Still, there were no reports of less-than-lethal weapons or tear gas being used.
Anti-G7 activists planned protests in Quebec City Saturday, as the summit wrapped, including a large march through the streets of the historic old quarter and to culminate with a comedy show at a community centre to include popular performers Fred Dubé and Guillaume Wagner.
Here are the events of the previous two days in images.
In images: See the #G7 Summit protests of Friday: small and relatively peaceful protests contrast large security force and price tag in Quebec City. Our photographer @tetreaultaj was on site. #cdnpoli #g7summit #g72018 #g7charlevoix