Demonstrators gathered in the streets of Halifax on Friday to protest the Atlantica free-trade conference, initially was a peaceful demonstration, turned violent when 20 masked protesters calling themselves ‘black bloc’ began attacking police with rocks, bottles and paint-filled balloons. Police responded to the rioters with rubber bullets, pepper stray and stun guns. Police arrested 20 people with charges of mischief, assault, obstruction, resisting arrest and unlawful assembly.
During the protest, several banks were vandalized along Spring Garden, including the TD which had to be closed for the day to repair the damages. Here is photo gallery of the riot.
Atlantica is a proposal that will help facilitate trade between the Atlantic provinces, eastern Quebec and the northeastern states. Protestors believe that it will ultimately lower minimum wage and attack labour bargaining rights. There is also concerns that the increased trade will result in more highways through communities helping contribute green house gases. But the real concern is that the long term fate of the area is being decided behind closed doors, by small group of elite without input of general public.