(en) Eyewitness account: APEC: student arrests part 2

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Sat, 29 Nov 1997 10:51:26 +0000

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#2 Kendrick at UBC

>From hatdow@vcn.bc.ca Tue Nov 25 21:08:47 1997
From: kendrick mauser <hatdow@vcn.bc.ca>

Hey Guys 'n Gals

This is message to tell everyone about the Van. APEC Summit. Last Sunday we had aprox 4-5000 people on a protest. Today we had another (the last day of APEC) we had another 2-3000 people dowtonw, speeches, theatre, foood...

My brother and I weren't at this one we were at UBC where the summit actually was. The students planned several events. On was ythe general arrest of General Suharto (about 1/2 doz. got arrested). The afternoon was the BIG ONE.

Our protest was led by the "Jeer Leaders" who had pompoms ad bright colours and they led us chants. Myself I was part of the second wave, "The Mock Riot Police" who carried bike helmets,(or viking helmets depending) we carried green plastic garbage can lids with corporate logos painted on them. We had a march (est. at 5,000 peo.) which ended at the library were upon one protester (dressed i a really nice suit) spoke out FOR APEC. Saying that we have no rights in the "Disney-fication" of our culture, and our rights. At which point We (the Mock Riot Police) would knock ALL the protesters with our paper batons. At which point they would all die. The "Die-In" was amazingly successfull.

Then those who were doing the (real) Civil Disobedience would approch the (real) fence to get arrested. Unfortunately the (real) fence was hastily attached the day before with plastic ties.

And so the fence fell down!

That's when the police PEPPER Sprayed the crowd! Media, bystanders, EVERYONE! After seeing the effect of pepper spray on some of my friends i quickly got involved with the water brigade who brought water to wash the spray from their eyes.

After seeing that this was only going to get worse the crowd dispersed into three groups. One for each exit. We would in effect fence IN the APEC leaders. I was on the North exit, where we were laying on the groud. My brother was on the South exit. I got word that the South exit was ambushed by te cops and that everyone was pepper sprayed so, Myself and two others ran over to the South exit to bring water.

Unforetunately we took one too many shortcuts and ended up behind the police barricade!?! All I saw was a BIG dog and an even BIGGER GUN!!!

I was forced to the ground with hands over my head, all i could do was repeat that i was only there to provid relief for the pepper sprayed victems. We were eventually let go but we were too late to help anyone from burning pain of the spray.

Whe i finally got there my brother told me that the RIOT police had been marching to the South exit banging their shileds. The RCMP cops (in front of riot police) approached the seated protesters and told them if they don't move they will not be charged but they WILL be beaten!!!! As they stood to comply, and leave, THEY WERE PEPPER SPRAYED!!!

In total over 50 people arrested for crimes ranging from miscief to breach of peace. A civil rights lawyer, and a mother and her child were also pepper sprayed!

I can't believe that the police could act out in such a way against non-violent protests!

It's been one hell of a long day. I want everyone to take care, and remember Pepper spray can be diluted in water to lessen the burning but it can cause permenent injuries!



dec 4. mat-x leaves for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ..............................................

Bob Olsen Toronto bobolsen@arcos.org :-)

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