OAS protest in Detroit

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Jun 19 11:53:59 MDT 2000

OAS protest in Detroit

Special to the World

DETROIT, Mich. * A crowd gathered at Hart Plaza here last week to show support for
those protesting against the Organization of American States (OAS) meetings being held
across the border in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. About 500 demonstrators marched down
Woodward Ave. and joined another 500 gathered at the plaza.

More than 4,000 police with mace, dogs and helicopters surrounded the demonstrators.

"There are several hundred people here today to show their solidarity with the people
throughout the western hemisphere," said Dave Elsila, a member of Newspaper Guild
Local 22, "to make sure that any agreement that is signed protects the environment as
well as the workers out here,"

A speaker for the Green Party told the crowd he was committed to non-violence, but at
every-day events he sees violence committed by the state powers: city hall and county,
state and federal governments.

He said the OAS is another effort at globalization. "Globalization is about taking our
democratic rights away and giving all to the corporations. It is about a few getting
rich while the many suffer poverty."

Jason Wade, of Local 58 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, accused the
city leaders of spending over $5 million on police for this event instead of repairing
and reopening nine schools that have been closed.

"Trade is going to have the effect of harmonizing relations and the problem is do we
harmonize them upwards or downwards," said Dan McCarthy, president of UAW Local 417.

"Those of the OAS have an agenda for harmonizing things downward. We can't have that.
We need high wages and a pro-worker strategy if we are to experience any fairness."

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