As members of the Department of Fine Arts, located in the Lasserre Building, and the Belkin Gallery on the north end of the campus, we were able to witness first-hand the over-whelming security measures and police presence that transformed the university into a prison camp on Monday November 24th and Tuesday November 25. We wish to register, in the strongest terms, our outrage that the university became the site for serious violations of the liberties that are basic to our democratic society and which are guaranteed in our Canadian charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In view of these events, we support the announcement from you office last week that the UBC Administration will encourage open discussion and debate in the coming year around the issues raised by the presence of APEC at the University of British Columbia.
However, while we support with enthusiasm the creation of new graduate fellowships to support M.DDA and Ph.D. research, given the shameful events that unfolded on our campus as a result of APEC, we cannot accept that any such fellowship “commemorate” the APEC meeting help here. Also, Given that the issue of human rights were not placed on the APEC agenda, and given that our own students had their civil rights threatened and removed, we urge that the Administration re-name this fellowship. The new name should reflect that it was in fact issues and freedom of expression that were ultimately raised by APEC’s presence on UBC’s campus.