Students Condemn Jailing of Protesters

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Tue Apr 3 02:01:00 MDT 2001

Monday, April 2, 2001

Students Condemn Jailing of Protesters

Government ignores request of peaceful protestors for text of trade deal
Ottawa *

Over 80 people were arrested earlier today for their participation in a peaceful
protest at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on Sussex Drive.

A crowd of more than 400 gathered to demand that the Canadian government release the
text of the draft agreement of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Among those
arrested were members of the Canadian Federation of Students.

"The Canadian government has so much to hide in this trade agreement that it would
rather allow dozens of people to be arrested than allow the democratic process to
take its course," said Jen Anthony, National Deputy Chairperson of the Canadian
Federation of Students.

"While people must continue to guess what Canada is trading away in the FTAA, the
banks and the Business Council on National Issues have copies of the draft text in
their hands right now."

Added Anthony: "The Canadian government is afraid of letting average Canadians know
what is in the FTAA deal because it knows that people will hold it accountable to
protect our rights and the environment."

The Canadian Federation of Students and other groups that protested today are
concerned that the FTAA agreement is being negotiated in secret by the Canadian
government. In particular, students are worried that this far-reaching trade deal has
the potential to regulate all aspects of the hemisphere's economy, including the
provision of government- funded social programmes like post-secondary education. The
Federation's research shows that the FTAA and other trade agreements will result in
greater pressure to allow private, for-profit universities in Canada and to open
public education up for trade. The deals also threaten to supersede the ability of
governments to protect the environment and improve public services.

The Canadian Federation of Students is calling for the immediate and unconditional
release of all those being held in connection with today's peaceful protest at DFAIT.
The organisation also reiterates its call on the Canadian government to release the
text of the FTAA to the public.

- 30 -

For more information, please contact the Canadian Federation of Students at
613-232-7394, cfs at
Jen Anthony, National Deputy Chairperson, cell 613-277-7394

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Macdonald Stainsby
Rad-Green List: Radical anti-capitalist environmental discussion.
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                                     --Bertholt Brecht

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