(en) TODAY! UBC students to again risk arrest with non-violent

Jaggi Singh (jaggi@vcn.bc.ca)
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 02:37:10 -0800 (PST)

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NEWS ADVISORY For immediate release [Please post and forward widely]



VANCOUVER, Monday, October 27, 1997 -- Today, students at UBC will again be expanding their APEC-FREE ZONE in paint on campus. The students, members of the grassroots campus group APEC ALERT, will be gathering at the Goddess of Democracy Statue (outside the Student Union Building at the bus loop) at 12:45pm and then proceed to the newly built Koerner Library on the Main Mall.=20

The APEC-FREE ZONE is a symbolic reclaiming of space in opposition to the APEC Leaders' Summit which will be held on campus in late November. The zone emanates from the Goddess of Democracy statue which commemorates the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.=20

Members of APEC ALERT have expanded their zone four times thus far. On the orders of the UBC administration, two students -- Shiraz Dindar and Mark Luchkow -- were arrested and charged on September 22. Their trial is still pending.=20

APEC ALERT has vowed to continue expanding the zone until November 25 when they plan a major mobilization against the APEC Leaders' Summit at the Museum of Anthropology and President Martha Piper's residence on campus.=20

According to Aiyanas Ormond, an economics student who will be risking arrest today, "Students have a responsibility to challenge the inhumane policies of APEC ... We're risking arrest as a display of anger and to motivate students to take a serious stand against APEC."=20

APEC ALERT, a grassroots campus group composed of students and former students as well as faculty and staff supporters, is currently engaged in a campaign called "REFUSE APEC" which involves debates, forums, speakers, films, street theatre and non-violent direct action. APEC ALERT has thus far received the support of all campus staff unions, the Graduate Students' Society, the Canadian Federation of Students, the Simon Fraser University Student Society and a host of other institutions and individuals, both locally and internationally. APEC ALERT is also a member of the NO! TO APEC Coalition.=20

APEC ALERT opposes the "free trade" agenda of APEC which serves only the interests of big business at the expense of the world's marginalized peoples, particularly indigenous persons, peasants, workers and women. APEC ALERT also objects to the crass ideology of APEC and other similar agreements and institutions which treats human beings and ecosystems simply as commodities to be exploited.=20

APEC ALERT's campaign will climax with a Democracy Village Tent City to begin on November 17, a student walkout of classes on November 24, a city-wide teach-in on campus called "Free University" also on November 24 and a major mobilization against the APEC Leaders=D5 Summit on November 25.= =20

For more information: (604) 251-9914 or alert@netinfo.ubc.ca.=20

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