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Protests, Security, APEC Leaders and Road Closures

By Selwyn Manning
Amnesty International has set up a billboard of photographs displaying human right’s abuses it says are occurring in APEC member countries.
The billboard is displayed on the corner of Queen and Wellesley streets. It is part of a growing protest presence in Auckland this week.
A public meeting will also be held at the Methodist Mission at 370 Queen Street tonight at 7pm. The meeting will discuss alternative APEC issues, and demonstrate the affects of free market politics on industrial working conditions and individual rights. The meeting will also hear the latest of the East Timor crisis and consider what the international community should do to stop the killings in the former Portuguese colony.
A major protest march is planned for Auckland tomorrow night which is scheduled to begin at 8pm.
As a result, security in Auckland is now at high alert with the first of the world’s most prominent leaders about to arrive for the APEC leader’s conference.
First of seven leaders due to arrive today was the Mexican president. The remainder will arrive tomorrow with US President Bill Clinton arriving in the morning and the Chinese president in the afternoon.

The obvious police presence around Auckland will highten today. Foreign security agents expressed fears that upgraded rubbish bins on Queen Street posed possible bomb risks. The bins have been removed.
More road blocks are scheduled and arterial routes and motorways will be closed when motorcades pass through.
Meanwhile, the APEC trade ministers have agreed on abolishing all agricultural export subsidies and unjustifiable export prohibition. This recommendation will be put to their leaders, who will then, if agreed, take it to the World Trade Organisation.

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