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Apec / East Timor

8 September, 1998

From the Palmerston North Coalition against APEC ...

8 September 1999

Press Release for immediate release

Palmerston North's Alternative to APEC meeting a great success!

The Palmerston North Coalition against APEC had a very exciting but sad meeting last night (Tuesday 7 September) at the Wesley Methodist Church.

Over 100 people were energised by the main speaker Crispan Beltran, a trade Unionist from the Philippines, and Celia Briar from the social policy Department at Massey University who spoke about the negative impacts of APEC and free market policies on working people throughout the world.

"It was an excellent opportunity for Palmerston North people to reflect on the reduction in working conditions and loss of jobs, particularly in the manufacturing area, which is caused by so called 'free trade' agreements like APEC" said meeting organiser Dion Martin.

"Crispan Beltran told us that the minimum wage in the Philippines for an eight hour day is less than New Zealand $10.00, if it is observed at all, and the feeling of the meeting was that this is the sort of future New Zealand can look forward to if the lunacy of 'free market' rhetoric continues to be adhered to by any New Zealand Government."

"There was also a call at the end of the meeting for a minute's silence for the East Timorese people. There was much sadness when we discussed the current situation in East Timor and a desire to organise some sort of action to demonstrate our solidarity with them in Palmerston North. A group from this meeting have agreed to organise a gathering on the front steps of the Palmerston North City Council building at 12 midday on Thursday 9 September (This Thursday)" said Mr Martin.

"We want this gathering to be a way for Palmerston North people to express our solidarity with the people of East Timor, who have chosen autonomy and independence, but are being brutally restricted in their choice" said Mr Martin

The Mayor of Palmerston North Jill White has agreed to address this gathering. The Palmerston North East Timorese students group will also attend this gathering.

This gathering is not an anti-APEC gathering.

For comments contact:

Dion Martin w 3569658 or h 3563997
Stephen Rice 021617441
Jenny Collett w 3505021

Link to main page on East Timor.

Link to main page on APEC and globalisation.

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