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Monday, 23 April, 2001, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Summit of the Americas

Western hemisphere leaders ratify their agreement after two days of violent clashes between riot police and thousands of anti-globalisation demonstrators.


US President George W Bush with the leaders of Canada (centre) and Mexico (left)
US President George W Bush with the leaders of Canada (centre) and Mexico (left)
23 April 2001

Leaders of 34 nations from across the Americas sign a declaration to set up the world's largest free trade zone by 2005, which will involve only those countries with democratic governments.

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The protesters argue that free trade hurts the poor
The protesters argue that free trade hurts the poor
22 April 2001

Midway through their summit in Quebec City, Western hemisphere leaders agree that only democratic countries will be allowed to join the world's most ambitious free trade pact.

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Canadian riot police in a cloud of tear gas
Canadian riot police in a cloud of tear gas
21 April 2001

The official opening of the pan-American summit in Quebec is delayed, as riot police and anti-globalisation protesters fight into the early hours of the morning. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien blamed the violence on what he called a small group of extremists.

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Protesters challenge riot police on the site of the summit
Protesters challenge riot police on the site of the summit
20 April 2001

Violent clashes involving police and demonstrators take place outside the Summit of the Americas. Anti-globalisation protesters tear down a wire perimeter fence surrounding the venue where American leaders met to discuss free trade.

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President Bush makes his statement
President Bush makes his statement
20 April 2001

President Bush renews calls for the creation of the largest free trade area in the world, extending from Alaska to Chile. He says it will benefit all American countries and the 800 million people living there.

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A protester tries to climb the security fence surrounding the summit area
Protests began before most leaders had arrived
19 April 2001

Canadian police mount their biggest ever security operation. A two-and-a-half mile security fence surrounds the area to keep out protesters. Ahead of the summit, a number of arrests were made and weapons confiscated.

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President Clinton with President Carlos Menem of Argentina at the 1998 summit
Little progress on free trade for President Clinton at the last summit
1998 Summit

Trade was also the main issue at the last Summit of the Americas in Chile three years ago but there was little progress. The summit also saw the leaders reject Cuba's application to join and sign an agreement to co-operate in the war on drugs.

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