News Release: Active Resistance in Vancouver

Jaggi Singh (jaggi@vcn.bc.ca)
Mon, 6 Jan 1997 01:10:58 -0800 (PST)


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NEWS RELEASE January 6th, 1997

LOCAL ACTIVISTS TO BUILD "TENT CITY" OUTSIDE WATERFRONT HOTEL

"Active Resistance Tent City" is the beginning of year-long protests against APEC and Chretien's self-declared "Year of the Asia Pacific"

"If you thought NAFTA was scary, wait until you hear about APEC!"

VANCOUVER, January 6, 1996 -- Individuals and groups opposed to APEC are vowing to set up what they are calling an "Active Resistance Tent City" outside of the Waterfront Center Hotel. They will begin the Tent City at 12:30PM on TUESDAY, JANUARY 7TH and are determined to stay for the duration of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum at the Waterfront Hotel near Canada Place until Friday.

The Parliamentary Forum will include parliamentarians from over 20 Pacific Rim nations and is one of the first events of the Chretien government's self-declared "1997 Year of Asia Pacific" culminating in the APEC Leaders' Summit this November.

"Our Tent City is intended to create a zone of resistance to the ideology of free trade represented by APEC," says David Jago, an Active Resistance organizer. "APEC touches upon almost every aspect of our society, and yet no one has been consulted."

Suzanne Baustad, another Active Resistance member, is also concerned about the non-transparent and undemocratic nature of the APEC process. In her words, "APEC is state-of-the-art corporate rule."

Canada is a founding member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation which aims to impose a free trade zone in the region by 2020. Critics of APEC contend that its unabashed pro-business agenda will mean the further lowering of working and living conditions for marginalized people in Canada and abroad. It also means cheap wages, anti-union policies, easy access to natural resources and lax or non-existent labour, environmental and human rights standards.

As some Vancouver-area activists put it: "If you thought NAFTA was scary, wait until you hear about APEC!"

According to Jaggi Singh, another Active Resistance organizer, "The Tent City is designed so that people can join us, take the time to talk to us and learn more about APEC and the corporate agenda it represents."

Organizers are also hoping to spark further awareness and protests across Canada. According to Jago, "This is just the beginning."

For more information about Active Resistance, e-mail jbsingh@unixg.ubc.ca or phone (604) 251-9914. Messages will be checked frequently and returned directly from the Tent City between January 7th-10th.

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