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Submission Against Free Trade Agreement To Public

MEDIA RELEASE FROM:

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON STUDENTS ASSOCIATION,
VICTORIA EDUCATION ACTION GROUP,
RADICAL SOCIETY AOTEAROA (VICTORIA),
VICTORIA ECO-ACTION.

24 May, 2001

For Immediate Release

“Students Take Submission Against Free Trade Agreement To The Public”

Student groups from Victoria University will take their opinions against the Hong Kong New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership to the streets tomorrow (Friday) when they deliver their submissions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Our campaign to make the public aware of how disastrous this agreement would be starts tomorrow. We plan to begin building a weight of public opinion that will stop the capitalist globalisers in their tracks,” said Alistair Shaw, spokesperson for Radical Society Aotearoa (one of the groups involved in the action).

The groups plan to block traffic on The Terrace to symbolise the need for decision makers to stop and think about the ramifications of the proposed agreement.

“We are particularly concerned about the impact that the trade and investment agreement will have on the clothing, textile and footwear industries and will be conducting a fashion-parade on the pedestrian crossing to draw attention to our concerns,” said Mr Shaw.

The groups are also concerned about the potential under the agreement to open up for foreign control “environmental services” which are the functions performed by local bodies and regional authorities.

“This agreement attempts to lock into place a particular direction for public policy that is at variance with what New Zealanders want. It is even at variance with what the Labour-Alliance government say that it is committed to. We want more public control, more democratic control and less corporate control of essential industries,” said Mr Shaw.

“We call upon the government to reject the HK-NZCEP and also to withdraw from the agreements that previous governments have signed that similarly restrict the democratic process. In particular we call for the immediate renunciation of privatisation and foreign control commitments that the National government made with regard to education under the General Agreement on Trade in Services.”

The protest will take place between noon and 12:30pm on the pedestrian crossing outside Stafford House, 40 The Terrace.

ENDS

Contact Alistair Shaw
025 888 180
radicalsociety@hotmail.com

Nick Henry
Education Vice President
Te Roopu Tauira o te Kura Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui
Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association

+64 (4) 473 8566 VUWSA Office
+64 (4) 499 7100 fax

Check out the VUWSA website at http://www.vuw.ac.nz/vuwsa

Hasta La Victoria Siempre


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