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The recorded words of encouragement from Algonquin Elder William Commanda filled the Hill as a diverse group of anti-SPP activists gathered to express their rejection of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” being discussed in Montebello this week.

After hearing from Maude Barlow, Gustavo Iruegas, Sophie Harkat, Ben Powless, Raymond Legault, Chris Jones, Phil McDowell, Ann Wright, and Barb Byers, we made our way through the gates and towards the Mexican Embassy to hold a mock election. Participants had to navigate a group of aggressive “banditos” who were trying to prevent them from “voting”, in a bit of street theatre illustrating the problems with the most recent election in Mexico.

Even a quick glance around the crowd of people revealed that unions are coming out in strong opposition against the SPP, an arrangement that will commit Canada and Mexico to the Bush Administration’s so- called “War on Terror”, accelerate the privatization of public services, lower national standards and regulations regarding from environmental protection, and victimize immigrants, refugees, and non- status individuals

“It’s great to see such a presence from the labour movement,” said Denise Hammond, President of CUPE Local 1281, handing out buttons to the crowds of people gathered to watch the march, now headed for the US Embassy. After circling the embassy, we made our way back to the Hill for a performance of MC Muhamed Ali.

Further actions against the SPP will be going on as Harper, Bush, and Calderon meet August 20. Watch CUPE.ca for updates, and find pictures from the event in the CUPE Facebook group.