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Students Protest at Canadian High Commission

MEDIA RELEASE

Radical Society

Students Protest at Canadian High Commission

Protest at Canadian Police Activities

Students, led by Victoria University’s Radical Society, will present a protest letter to the Canadian High Commission tomorrow (Tuesday). They are protesting the violence that Canadian police used in Quebec over the weekend in attempts to restrict protest against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

“Police in Quebec have used copious amounts of pepper spray, tear gas and attack dogs to suppress legitimate dissent”, said a Radical Society spokesperson. “The irony being that at the same time those inside the meeting were claiming that ‘free trade’ will lead to a free society.”

“The police treatment of the protests have shown the true face of corporate globalisation. It is only for the benefit of the rich whose corporations have lobbied like crazy for the agreement. Corporate globalisation is intended to be imposed at the expense of the poor, whose protests will be met with rising violence from an increasingly militarised police force.”

Independent media reports from Quebec point to extensive violence against protesters including a rubber-bullet attack against the Independent Media Centre and the clearing of a medical centre set up by protesters at gun-point. Other reports include protesters being shot at close range, and some in critical condition from ‘rubber bullets’ including one who was hit in the throat.

Students are also upset to hear that Jaggi Singh, a popular anti-globalisation activist who toured Aotearoa/New Zealand with the support of Radical Society last year, had been kidnapped by people who identified themselves as police officers.

“Jaggi is completely non-violent yet this is the second time (the first being during APEC in Vancouver) that he has been arrested prior to a leaders’ summit seemingly to prevent him being involved in organising anti-globalisation activity.”

According to eye-witness accounts Singh was attacked by disguised policemen and whisked away in an unmarked panel van. According to local sources in there have been no reports of charges being made although there has been a report that he will be held until Wednesday, by which time the Summit will be over.

“The Free Trade Area for the Americas will only bring freedom for the corporate elite to stomp on the region’s poor. Radical Society stands in solidarity with those raising their voices against corporate rule, share their concerns and condemn the police treatment of them” said the Radical Society spokesperson.

The Protest will be held at 9am at the Canadian High Commission (above Westpac bank on Molesworth st), a copy of the letter will be released to the media.

ENDS

Contact: Alistair Shaw c/o VUWSA ph 473-8566
Nick Henry fax 499 7100
James Southgate radicalsociety@hotmail.com

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