ATTENTION FTAA-goers! PLEASE TELL YOUR STORY!! - DEMOCRACY IN DANGER!

Adam Harden 3ajd7 at SPAMqlink.queensu.ca
Thu May 3 07:18:25 MDT 2001


ATTENTION FTAA-goers!  PLEASE TELL YOUR STORY!! - DEMOCRACY IN DANGER!

        A new site, democracy in danger, hosted by the polaris institute
(Ottawa/Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is designed so that anyone can post their
personal story from Quebec city.  The site will serve as an invaluable
anthology of the truth of people's experiences on the ground at Quebec
city.  The site is

http://www.polarisinstitute.org/summit/summit.htm

Even though you may have posted your story already, or emailed it out to
various places, PLEASE consider posting it to this site.  Given all of the
powerful and disturbing personal experiences I personally have heard of
from people on the ground at the FTAA, this site realizes a crucial
opportunity to bring stories together and to witness to the truth of what
went on in Quebec - the beauty and the ugliness combined.  Once confronted
with the reality of hundreds or even thousands of powerful on-the-ground
personal accounts compiled in one place, the force of the truth of our
stories will show through and will not be marginalized or ignored by our
societies, indeed by the world as a whole.

Whether you were a street medic, marcher, someone near the fence, a media
person, or anyone there at the summit, CONTRIBUTE YOUR STORY OR EXPERIENCE!

Simply follow the link to the site above and follow the instructions - it's
simple, and critical.  Please forward this message to whomever you know who
might have a personal story from Quebec to share.

Read on below for polaris's official release on this site.

Thank you, apologies for cross-posts etc, take care all of you,

Adam Davidson-Harden,
Kingston, Ontario

p.s. for those of you with the ability, could you please translate this
page into various languages and re-post to various sites/media? Thanks!
_________________________________

Click on Democracy in Danger and tell your story- for democracy's sake.

Click here for the Quebec Legal Collective page:
http://www.quebeclegal.org

More than 60,000 citizens went to Quebec City in late April 2001 to express
their concerns about the FTAA. The motivating reasons for going were many,
but central to the protest is the concern with the rise of unchecked
corporate power, which is increasingly and inequitably defining the world
we live in.

The Canadian government erected a fence around the perimeter nearly 4
kilometers long, 3 meters high and fortified with 6000 police and riot
squad personnel. This Wall of Shame separated citizens from corporate CEO’s
who bought their way into the Summit; trade bureaucrats who skillfully
craft rules that benefit corporations and trade away the public commons and
politicians who have abdicated their responsibility to represent citizens.

Part of the Wall of Shame came down on Friday, April 20 with the sheer
determination and power of people. What followed was a reprehensible and
excessive use of force that was directed at far more than the few
individuals who had the tenacity to knock down the Wall of Shame.

Tremendous violence and intimidation continued over the next few days by
the security forces. Quebec city residents and protestors were gassed, with
more than 5000 canisters of tear gas shot indiscriminately into crowds of
peaceful protestors; clouds of pepper spray were purposefully aimed into
the faces of citizens, marching riot squads cleared streets well beyond the
perimeter using canine units and powerful water cannons.

Citizens of Canada experienced the military face of a corporate security
state.

Now the Canadian government wants to herald the ratification of the
‘Democracy Clause’ that took place behind the Wall of Shame, behind the
tear gas and indiscriminate arrests of peaceful protestors as a major
achievement.

We at the Polaris Institute do not agree --- we believe that democracy is
in danger. In fact we believe that the events witnessed by many thoughtful
and engaged citizens at Quebec City would support the view that the FTAA "
democracy clause" was in fact violated in Quebec City in late April 2001.

We are inviting people to share their personal stories of Quebec City
especially incidents that indicate there was an "alteration or interruption
of the democratic order of the state". We invite you to document your
experience by visiting our Website Democracy In Danger.

Our goal is to compile stories of truth and peaceful resistance that can be
used as a part of a follow-up citizen’s inquiry to demonstrate that a
massive violation of the summit's democracy clause itself was perpetrated
on thousands of citizens who were exercising the democratic right to
peaceful protest against the FTAA.

Click on Democracy in Danger and tell your story- for democracy's sake.

for more information, please contact the polaris institute:

Polaris Institute

     312 Cooper Street
     Ottawa, ON
     Canada
     K2P 0G7

     Phone: (613) 237-1717
     Fax: (613) 237-3359

     polarisinstitute at on.aibn.com
     http://www.polarisinstitute.org








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