09/15/2012 03:34 EDT | Updated 11/15/2012 05:12 EST

Harper Effigy Tried At 'People's Court' Protesting Government Cuts

TORONTO - A national union rallied across Canada on Saturday against government public-service cuts.

Protests, organized by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, included the staging of a so-called "People's Court" in Toronto that tried an effigy of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Mock trials were also held for efigies of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford over cutbacks to public spending.

Other scheduled national protests included ones outside two of Defence Minister Peter MacKay's Nova Scotia constituency offices and the unveiling of a "Defending Quality Public Services" mural in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan acted as a prosecutor in the mock trial in Toronto.

He accused the paper-head figure of Harper of driving down wages and eliminating jobs with international free trade agreements

"You will hear evidence that will tell us how jobs have been destroyed in this country, how free trade agreements have been entered into by these four individuals and their corporate-sector friends — free trade agreements that have shipped jobs offshore, eliminated jobs and driven down wages," Ryan told the Toronto protest while dressed in a black-and-white court gown.

"In another time and another place these four individuals would be hauled onto the public square and they would be publicly flogged," he said.

Only about 100 people attended the Toronto event.

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