teddy bears were the stars of the show Tuesday night when 200 demonstrators rallied opposite the Royal York Hotel to disrupt the 25th-anniversary dinner plans of the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI).
To the driving beat of drums, protesting students, unionists, Council of Canadians members and others kept up a loud ruckus for two hours to make sure BCNI types representing the CEOs of the country's 150 largest corporations got the message.
In between speeches, actors from Vermont's Bread and Puppet Theatre and the Radical Cheerleaders amused the crowd with comic send-ups of corporate globalizers.
Then the teddy bears started to fly. While 40 cops stationed outside the hotel looked on, protestors flung pookies at a giant puppet representing BCNI president Tom D'Aquino.
"We protest your power. We protest your vision for our world,' chanted the crowd. Later, when the crowd staged a sit-in on Front Street, cops suddenly appeared on horses. With TV cameras rolling, seven bold protestors left the safety of the crowd to plant peace offerings at the horses' feet, providing a moment of poetic relief. Their gifts? Teddy bears, of course.
Asked what he thinks of the protestors, D'Aquino says, "Not one of them can get elected to the House of Commons. Because they can't, they take to the streets. That isn't democracy. That's fascism."