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From "Bernie Lowenstein" <frumunda@hotmail.com>
Date Mon, 12 Apr 1999 11:53:33 -0400

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

The Equal Rights Alliance (ERA) is a conglomerate organization of the
University of Pittsburgh students, staff and concerned Pittsburgh
community groups.  We support the recent action taken by 9,000

Graduate students, the University of Pittsburgh Faculty Assembly, and
the  Senate CouncilUs motion to uphold the validity of the city
ordinance that prohibits discrimination against lesbians and gays.
The University  of Pittsburgh continues to deny the Human Relation
CommissionUs  authority to uphold that ordinance, as well as denying
faculty and staff health insurance benefits for their same-sex
domestic partners.

Beginning on Monday, April 12th, ERA will initiate a hunger strike
and ongoing "days of silence" to protest the UniversityUs continual
denial of domestic partner health benefits and the challenge to the
City Ordinance.
In a previous action following the February 18th demonstration,

several of ERAUs members held a sit-in at the ChancellorUs office to
demand a statement, which was never provided.  ERAUs actions are again
seeking the response of Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and the Board of
Trustees. ERA is requesting a meeting with the Chancellor to discuss
the growing student and faculty concern over this issue, as well as
to request an open forum with the Board of Trustees so that they may
finally hear the publicUs concerns and be held publicly accountable
for their decisions and actions regarding this issue.  The hunger
strike and days of silence by many students will continue until the
requests for a meeting with the Chancellor and the public forum with
the Trustees are met.  Students

will also wear white T-shirts that read, "Hunger Strike for Human
Rights," or for those participating in the days of silence, "Our
Silence Supports the Hunger Strike."  The students participating in
the hunger strike will be abstaining from eating all food for the
duration of the strike, but will be properly trained in long-term
fasting techniques.

On Monday, April 12th ERA will be attending the opening session of
argument for the Human Relations Commission regarding the validity
of the City ordinance at the City-County Building.  The session begins
at 9:00am, ERA will be present at 8:30 am for comment.  On Tuesday, April
13th,ERA will hold a press conference in front of the Carnegie Music
Hall in Oakland at 9:30 am.  On Wednesday, April 14th, ERA will be on
the William Pitt Union Lawn (Bigelow Side) all day for further
information about the Hunger Strike, beginning at 9:30 am.

For more information contact:  Victoria Zaitz- (724) 823-2689,
Nicole Shoener- (412) 661-2296, or Christie Hudson- (412) 683-8225.
Email us at:  Equal_rights_alliance@yahoo.com
                   There is truth to Wit.

Zapatista Alliance of Pittsburgh
P.O. Box 71245
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


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