Montreal man refuses to descend from crane News Staff

August 2, 2004

A protester in Montreal is certainly getting the attention he's looking for, but most of it seems to be of the negative variety.

The 26-year-old man has climbed on top of a crane to publicize his cause. He says he needs to raise money for his family and to complete his university degree.

Instead, the man has forced a condominium worksite to be closed down Monday -- costing the builder $100,000 a day.

The man climbed atop the crane early Sunday. As a result, a street in front of the condo project has been closed.

It's clear the man is causing a lot of frustration for residents and builders, without creating the empathy he needs to raise funds.

"There were 150 men that had to return home this morning because it's a project that must proceed and be completed by the end of the year," Paul Lefebvre, vice-president of Le Phenix-Notre Dame condo project told the Canadian Press.

Firefighters tried to reach the man and bring him back down. But the protester threw objects at them, forcing them to climb back down.

A police officer said they would not try to forcibly bring the man down.

"Uh, we've decided to go into a defensive mode with just surrounding him. We're talking with him with negotiators, each 15 minutes. There's contact that is done with the suspect to try to make him surrender. It would be too dangerous to send up a rescuer on the top of the crane now," said Ian LaFreniere of Montreal Police.

It's believed the man is the same person who climbed on top of Montreal's Biosphere during Montreal's Grand Prix in June.

Police say that once the man comes down, he will be charged with mischief.