(en) Three More Students Arrested in Anti-APEC protests at UBC

Jaggi Singh (blackcat@vcn.bc.ca)
Sat, 1 Nov 1997 03:02:54 -0800 (PST)

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---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 18:39:55 -0800 From: Brian Fuller <fuller@cs.ubc.ca>

NEWS ADVISORY For immediate release


VANCOUVER, Friday, October 31, 1997 - In a clear act of intimidation, the RCMP, under the direction of the UBC administration, arrested three students in anti-APEC related activities. Students Jonathan Oppenheim, 26, Caleb Sigurgeirson, 26, and Victoria Scott, 26, were violently frisked and removed from campus, more than half an hour after they used glass markers to write anti-APEC messages on the windows of the UBC President's new renovation, the Atrium. The Atrium, where President Martha Piper will greet the APEC leaders, comes at a cost of $400,000.

The students used washable markers, and clearly stated this to campus security at the site. The students ensured that no damage was done. The administration's actions seem particularly hypocritical in light of the UBC Public Relations Director's statement in Thursday's Vancouver Sun: "as long as there is no damage, it's not a problem" (page B1).

A host of television stations and newspapers were present at a protest on Wednesday at the president's house; today the RCMP waited until no media were present to charge the students with criminal mischief. Not only is the UBC administration and RCMP's timing reprehensible, it is also a strategic attempt at avoiding media scrutiny.

Staff Sergeant Plante has told APEC ALERT that the students, who have no criminal record, may be held over night as the RCMP "collected evidence". Plante can be reached at 224-1322.

Of the approximately thirty students present, about six chose to mark the windows, yet only three were arrested. When asked why these particular students were arrested, Plante replied that no evidence was collected on the other students. Strangely, the RCMP was not present at the Atrium at the time of the incident, and so they were no more able to gain evidence on any one individual than another. Student Kendra Ward, 23, was one of the students who participated in the writing. Says Ward, "when they were getting arrested, I stepped forward and asked why the rest of us were not being arrested too. I felt it wrong that the RCMP was being selective in their actions. This kind of intimidation is unacceptable."

Previously arrested student and APEC ALERT member, Shiraz Dindar, 25, says "they're not very successful at intimidating us. When I was arrested, many, many students came forward with their support. When UBC orders the arrest of their own students for painting with non-permanent markers, that's a disgusting attempt at suppressing free speech and dialogue on APEC."

For more information, please contact APEC ALERT at (604) 251-9914, alert@netinfo.ubc.ca, or Shiraz Dindar at 876-2744.

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