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The BBC's Patrick O'Connell
"There is a very confused message"
 real 56k

The BBC's Nick Bryant reports from Quebec
"Much more than a violent distraction"
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The BBC's Rob Watson
"The police have just about had it under control"
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US President George W Bush
"Our goal in Quebec is to build a hemisphere of liberty"
 real 56k

Saturday, 21 April, 2001, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Quebec violence flares again
Riot police fired tear gas to disperse an angry crowd
Riot police fired tear gas to disperse an angry crowd
Riot police in Quebec City have fired water cannon and tear gas at anti-globalisation demonstrators outside a summit discussing plans for the world's largest free trade area.

The protesters were trying to breach the security barrier surrounding a conference centre, where leaders of 34 countries are attending the Summit of the Americas.

The demonstrators argue that free trade hurts the poor and the environment
Trouble flared when chanting protesters tried to tear down the10ft high fence and hurling stones, sand-filled bottles and concrete blocks.

In another part of the tense city, thousands of campaigners marched through the streets in a peaceful protest.

The latest disturbances took place in exactly the same place as where demonstrators briefly broke through the 3.8 km (2.3 mile) chain-link and concrete wall on Friday.

A group of 60 riot police drove the protesters back with water cannon and tear gas as helicopters hovered overhead.

Running battles

At least two protesters were arrested and security forces brought in earth moving equipment to help fortify the perimeter.

Many demonstrators wore protective gear, ranging from handkerchiefs worn as masks to balaclavas to military-style gas masks.

The BBC's Rob Watson says the use of water cannon would seem to indicate that police are adopting a far harder stance against the demonstrators.

George W Bush
George W Bush called for leaders to forge "an age of prosperity"
Authorities blame the violence on what they call a small group of anarchist infiltrators.

On Friday night, five police officers were injured and dozens of people arrested after demonstrators tore down a section of the concrete blocks and chain-link fence barricading off the heart of the city.

'A hemisphere of liberty'

Just before noon on Saturday, crowds began to build again and taunt police.

Graffiti and hand-made signs adorned many of the shops just outside the barrier, including one that read "Keep the fence up and the politicians inside."

Leaders of countries from North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean spent the first day of the talks at a conference centre behind the security cordon.

Summit working sessions were opened by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and US President George W Bush.

Mr Bush urged the other leaders to forge "an age of prosperity in a hemisphere of liberty."

"We have a great vision before us: a fully democratic hemisphere bound together by good will and free trade," he said. "This is not the time to grow timid or weary."

He also pledged to listen the concerns of the campaigners outside the summit centre.

Activists argue that a free trade block would harm poorer countries and damage the environment.

It would eliminate tariffs and streamline customs by its 2005 target date. But protesters say this would make rich countries would become richer

Correspondents say other leaders have expressed willingness to listen to dissenting voices, and have agreed to meet representatives from non-profit organisations, academics and peace-keeping institutes.

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