HUNTSVILLE, Ont. - A lone protester in the middle of a huge field otherwise known as the G8 protest zone has staged what will likely go down as the most successful demonstration of the summits.
"More Cookies For Kids" was 22-month-old Tyler Spencer's placard demand, and police gamely obliged Friday.
The Hunstville, Ont., boy's parents, Jennifer and Steve Spencer, are excited to have the international summit in their town and wanted to go by the designated speech area and see the action.
"We found an empty field and a few cameras and some cops," Jennifer Spencer said.
The picturesque, quaint cottage country town has remained so even as it hosts such a prominent summit.
The G8 meetings are often marked by large protests and Toronto has seen several demonstrations in the days leading up to the G20, but not Huntsville.
Two dozen townspeople, eight giant papier mache heads of world leaders and one Hollywood actor kicked off the first day of the G8 summit with some modest forms of dissent.
A small group of locals led a somewhat disorganized march down the town's main street.
The group called for G8 leaders to declare water a human right.
"Here in Muskoka we are stewards of a great amount of water wealth," said Kate Heming.
"So we really have to learn how to take care, become better stewards of the water that we live with here."
The band of protesters carrying a few placards started from a park at the water's edge. They marched a short way down the main street, escorted by police, before stopping to discuss where they were actually headed and then turning around to go back the way they came.
The designated protest zone — a large field on a backroad eight kilometres from the G8 meetings — sat empty except for the summit's littlest protester.
Tyler seemed more preoccupied with the mud in the field rather than the cookie protest placard his father made.
"I wanted, 'Make Carebears, Not War,' " Jennifer Spencer said.
Not long after the toddler set up camp a provincial police officer acceded to his demands.
"He got his cookie so he's happy," his mom said. "No need for aggression."
Heming said her group decided not to protest in the designated zone precisely because they wanted to go where they could draw attention to their cause.
"There's nothing going on at the designated free speech area," she said.
"There's not much of a protest scene happening there."
Oxfam held a publicity stunt at the town docks with giant papier mache heads of the G8 leaders and posed them as tourists — complete with socks and sandals. Oxfam ambassador and actor Bill Nighy was also on hand to be a "benign nuisance" to urge G8 leaders to put extreme poverty on their agendas.
Nighy, who has had roles in "Love Actually" and "Pirates of the Caribbean," recently went on a Comic Relief trip to Kenya, where he said he stood on a 2,500-acre trash dump comprised of chemical, medical and human waste.
"Five and six and upward year-old little girls and boys compete with wild pigs for rotting food, which may kill them anyway, and the female little girls have to give sex to the gangsters that run the trash dump so that they can get to the richer pickings," Nighy said.
"You'd have to really stretch your imagination to imagine anything worse."
Trigger warning because of last paragraph. The article literally goes from XD to D: very quickly.