Fwd: Canadians arrested WTO-Seattle

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@idirect.com)
Fri, 03 Dec 1999 01:21:07 -0500

----------forwarded message----------
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 00:51:24 -0500
From: Bob Olsen <bobolsen@interlog.com>
Subject: Canadians arrested WTO-Seattle

From: "Sarah Dopp" <sdopp@interlog.com>
To: <bobolsen@interlog.com>,
Cc: "Sid Lacombe" <sid_lacombe@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fw: WTO Arrests - Urgent Action
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 22:57:29 -0500

From: Lucy Watson (Internal intern1) <intern1@CFS-FCEE.CA>
Date: Thursday, December 02, 1999 10:02 PM
Subject: WTO Arrests

News Release

Jailing of Federation Representatives Unwarranted
For immediate release Thursday, December 2, 1999

Ottawa - At least two Canadian student leaders were among hundreds arrested
and jailed yesterday for peacefully protesting World Trade Organisation
talks in Seattle.

Canadian Federation of Students National Deputy Chairperson Elizabeth
Carlyle and Newfoundland and Labrador Representative Jen Anthony, in Seattle
as part of a Federation delegation, were arrested Wednesday morning while
participating in a peaceful march more than two kilometres from the WTO
meeting site.

"We came to Seattle to demonstrate against the potential danger to higher
education posed by the WTO negotiations," said Anthony. "Exposing education
to free trade will undoubtedly result in rapid tuition fee hikes and the
further privatisation of higher education."

The WTO has emerged as an organisation with the potential to regulate all
aspects of the global economy, including the provision of government funded
social programmes. The Canadian Federation of Students has been consistently
opposed to trade agreements that threaten to supersede the will of
individual citizens and undermine public services.

"In every country where free trade agreements have been implemented, the
living and working conditions of the population have worsened," said
Carlyle. "The violence that did break out on Tuesday is minor in comparison
to the misery that a WTO agreement would create.

Seattle Mayor Paul Schell has declared that Seattle is in "a state of civil
emergency" and has extended a curfew until midnight Friday. By his own
admission, peaceful protesters and residents have been caught in the
crossfire of tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Media accounts state
that least 600 people have been arrested.

"There was only ever a small minority involved in the violence, and by
Wednesday, most of it had stopped," said Carlyle. "The real story is the
police and the National Guard making indiscriminate sweeps, arresting
everyone from protesters to coffee shop patrons."

The Federation is concerned that the curfew is being extended until Friday,
the day the WTO negotiations conclude. "The actions of a few are being used
as a pretext to prevent people from visibly demonstrating their opposition
to the WTO talks," said Carlyle.

Carlyle and Anthony have yet to be arraigned. The Canadian Federation of
Students is calling for the release of all those being held in connection
with the events surrounding the anti-WTO demonstrations.

For further information, please contact Mark Veerkamp, British Columbia
Chairperson at (604) 733-1880 or (604) 908-7223.

To arrange interviews with National Deputy Chairperson Elizabeth Carlyle,
please call Lucy Watson, Internal Coordinator at (613) 232-7394.

                        URGENT ACTION REQUIRED
                              Anti-WTO Events
Please phone, fax, email Seattle Mayor Paul Schell's office denouncing the
police violence and the arrest of the anti-WTO protesters. The number is:
206-684-7395. Fax number 206-684-5360. Email: Mayors.Office@ci.seattle.wa.us

    Bob Olsen, Toronto      bobolsen@interlog.com