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Neorhino Party
Ben97, Jean-Patrick Berthiaume and Serge Grenier of the Neorhino party pushed their idea for a bed-in at Parliament Hill Friday. (CBC)

A Quebec-based fringe party is calling on the public to protest for peace by staying in bed for a week this spring to commemorate the anniversary of a similar protest by ex-Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono.

The Neorhino party wants people all over the world, including Canadian troops, to stay in bed for as long as possible during the bed-in it is organizing for May 26 to June 2, 2009, said party spokesman Ben97 at a news conference on Parliament Hill Friday.

The event is scheduled for 40 years after Lennon and Ono held their protest at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. As Lennon asked people to “give peace a chance” in a song recorded during his bed-in, the group is asking people to “give peace another chance.”

The Neorhino party, whose motto is “From party to party till victory,” is based in Montreal and bills itself as the direct descendant of the former Rhinoceros party, which disbanded in the early 1990s. That party’s proposals over the years included paving Manitoba to create the world’s largest parking lot, tear down the Rocky Mountains so people in Alberta could see the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, and to sell the Senate at an antique auction.

The Neorhinos said their news conference was intended to publicize both the bed-in and its proposal to “coalitionize” Prime Minister Stephen Harper out of Ottawa.

‘Harper-out’ coalition

Party secretary Serge Grenier said coalitions are the way of the future.

“We’re passing from a hive mentality where people act as a whole to an individual society where each one [acts] for his own,” Grenier said. “It will not be possible anymore to have all the people fit in blue and red. You need many colours.”

Grenier said the Neorhinos are well-placed to coordinate the Harper-Dehors or Harper-Out coalition, as it has something in common with every party, including the Liberal, NDP, Green, Work Less, Communists, and Bloc Quebecois. For example, the party says, it shares with the Work Less Party the belief that “there is no ideal more noble than to work less and enjoy life more,” and it shares with the Liberal party “a taste for personal liberty and a certain distrust toward the bureaucracy.”

from CBC Canada