NEWS
06/27/2011 06:02 EDT | Updated 08/27/2011 05:12 EDT

Patrick Bourgeois, Quebec Resistance Network, Hiring Security Guards For Royal Protest

CP

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- QUEBEC - A fringe Quebec pro-independence group is hiring dozens of burly security guards for a protest planned for Prince William and Kate's upcoming visit to the province.

But the head of the Quebec Resistance Network insists his organization hasn't employed the imposing chaperones to clash with law enforcement.

Instead, Patrick Bourgeois says the bruisers will be there to ensure next week's scheduled demonstration doesn't get out of control.

He says the guards were hand-picked based on brawn.

"Even myself, if they tell me what to do — they're so big that I'm going to listen to them," Bourgeois told The Canadian Press in an interview Monday.

"We chose them based on build. There's no one in there who's 100 pounds soaking wet."

Bourgeois said protest organizers plan to cause civil disobedience during the royal visit — but no violence.

The group is expecting 300 protesters in the streets to denounce the monarchy during the royal couple's July 3 visit to Quebec City.

Bourgeois said his organization has hired around 40 imposing security guards for the event to keep radical protesters from making the situation ugly.

"If some moron shows up and provokes police — and is at the same time imperilling our plan and the safety of our supporters — we're definitely going to ensure this person is booted out of our demonstration," he said.

Bourgeois' organization led a rowdy anti-monarchy demonstration in 2009 during a visit to Montreal by Prince Charles and Camilla.

The protest delayed their arrival at a military ceremony by about a half-hour, and Charles and Camilla had to enter through a back door because of the raucous demonstators.

The group, known in French as the Reseau de resistance du Quebecois, has also helped block the planned 2009 re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and has protested the performance of Anglo songs at Quebec's Fete nationale holiday.

At the time of the Fete nationale protest, other audience members heckled the demonstrators.