APA Protest June 3 - MEDIA RELEASE

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Wed, 27 May 1998 16:57:11 -0400


People Against Coercive Treatment
Phone: (416) 368-3366 or (416) 545-0796 Fax: (416) 368-5984
Internet: <gbacque@arcos.org> or <dweitz@interlog.com>

Protest at APA Convention on June 3!
MEDIA RELEASE
May 27, 1998

    On May 31-June 4 Toronto is to be the site of the annual convention
of the American Psychiatric Association. Over the course of five days
thousands of shrinks and other 'mental health' professionals will
partake of workshops with titles such as 'The Role of Coercion in
Psychiatry' and 'Involuntary Outpatient Committal: the New York
Experience' which are being sponsored by various corporate interests,
including all the major pharmaceutical companies.  Psychiatric survivors
are planning to be present as well in order to break the silence about
abuses from this particular medical specialty, and to speak out loudly
and clearly against the continued erosion of our civil and human rights.

     The APA along with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
(NAMI) have played an instrumental role in the quiet passage of laws in
more than thirty-five U.S. states allowing for forced drug treatment of
survivors living in the community, as well as lobbying for relaxation of
criteria for involuntary committal. The province of Saskatchewan has had
an outpatient committal law since 1993 and now Ontario is considering
such legislation as sensationalistic media and lobbying by the
Schizophrenia Society of Canada bring increasing pressure to bear on the
provincial government.

    People against Coercive Treatment (P.A.C.T.)* Was formed with the
aim of fighting any attempt to amend the Mental Health Act to allow for
forced drugging in the community, and to highlight and expose the
inherently coercive and abusive nature of the 'mental health' system and
most of the people who enable it to function. To this end it is our
intention to maintain a peaceful information picket and vigil outside
the APA symposium entitled 'The Role of Coercion in Psychiatry' on
Wednesday, June 3 from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the Metro Convention
Centre at 255 Front St. W.. During this time there will be speakers,
street theatre, and survivor-authored information packages will be
distributed. As of this time we have received endorsements from the
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Support Coalition International
in Eugene, Oregon, The Chatham/Kent Women's Centre, the University of
Toronto chapter of  OPIRG, Street Health, the National Action Committee
on the Status of Women (Southern Ontario District) and Toronto Action
for Social Change. A number of survivors from elsewhere in Canada and
the United States have indicated they will be joining us.  Additional
leafletting sessions have been planned outside other APA workshops as
well.

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    * People Against Coercive Treatment is a grassroots organization of
psychiatric survivors who came together in order to fight the proposed
changes to the Mental Health Act which would make it much easier  for
psychiatrists to force people who have been labeled to take
brain-damaging drugs on pain of being locked up  within those ugly
prisons known as 'psychiatric care facilities.' We are an autonomous
organization and are not affiliated with the Church of Scientology or
any other similar groups.

Visit us on the internet at <http://web.arcos.org/gbacque/antiAPA.htm>