Radical media, politics and culture.

Canadian Anarchists Organizing To Halt Security Fair

Canadian Anarchists Organizing To Halt Security Fair By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

A local anarchist group is threatening to shut down a massive security and technology fair in Ottawa, but police are keeping a close eye on their plans.

The CANSEC event, which is in its 10th year, is described as a "gathering of war profiteers" by protesters.

The Network to Oppose War and Racism and the PGA Bloc Ottawa are teaming up in an attempt to thwart the exhibition, which is being held at the Ottawa Congress Centre on Wednesday and Thursday.

An event posting on the PGA Bloc website is calling to "shut down the CANSEC arms fair" and "shut down the war machine."

Organizers have posted an animation video on YouTube depicting participants of the exhibition and masked demonstrators creating havoc.

PGA Bloc could not be reached for comment last night.

While the convention is expected to have its own security, Ottawa police have been doing intelligence work on potential protests.

Const. Isabelle Lemieux said it's common for the exhibition, like many major events in Ottawa, to hire extra paid-duty officers.

Still, police have been doing their own research into the planned demonstrations.

"We'll be there as we are for any demonstration," Lemieux said.

Police will try and work with demonstrators to create a "safe area" for peaceful protests, Lemieux said. At the same time, police are also mindful of the demonstrators' call to shut the event down.

"We're aware of it and we're preparing for it," Lemieux said.

A spokesperson for the event said yesterday organizers had not met with police about security, noting security protocol hasn't changed over the past few years.

Demonstrators plan two separate marches on Wednesday afternoon, followed by a Thursday march to the Congress Centre organized by PGA Bloc, the city's most vocal anarchist group.