The Siege of Ottawa is now over. George Bush left town about an hour ago to fly over to Halifax to say hello over there.
Starting Monday morning, we’ve had helicopters and planes flying around endlessly keeping an eye on downtown Ottawa. Yesterday was particularly noisy. I think they had one helicopter dedicated to hovering over our street for some time – pictures were shaking on the walls it was so close.
Pierre McNicoll, the radio personality/actor who was to be the master of ceremonies at the gala supper at the Museum of Civilization last night dropped dead of a heart attack either Monday night or sometime early Tuesday. He could have just said no, he didn’t want to be MC.
We went out in the morning to see what all the hoopla was about and to run a few errands. We walked down to Bank & Somerset, and then up Bank street to Wellington. The police presence was impressive – but we could have walked right up to the Hill had we wanted to and every was was being very nice. We saw a few groups of protesters. We had to walk down Elgin to Slater and cut through the Rideau Centre to get home. Other than the 4 helicopters and two small planes that were flying around downtown & the market, it was pretty peaceful, beautiful fall day.
Things seem to have gotten rougher in the afternoon, but from what I could see from my vantage point at home with the TV on CTV, the violence that American TV has been reporting wasn’t really out of hand – I believe the police arrested about 20 over the course of a few hours. And they had it coming – throwing bricks at police? Paint? It doesn’t make any sense to me to protest Bush/war (the two seem to have become interchangeable) with violence – especially if it was directed at people who had nothing to do with Bush – the police.
My buddy Ray and I went out to the pub last night to catch up and the police where still out in the market. Four or five OPP officers were on the corner of Dalhousie and Clarence, as the helicopters and planes still flew around. When we left around 9:45, the police were gone, but the number of helicopters had dropped to two, and one plane. One of the helicopters had a searchlight on, but it was too high to be really effective.
There are a few photos in the gallery [link]
The last plane I heard flying around left the area around 2am.
Right now, it is lightly snowing, which caused the president’s motorcade to leave earlier than anticipated because the armoured car he drives around in doesn’t have snow tires – which made me laugh. He came to Canada without snow tires?! I can not imagine having to put up with all the noise all the time.