Volume 96, Issue 87
Friday, March 14, 2003

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News Briefs

Pavement pounding peace protesters

The purveyors of peace are uniting once again this weekend, and this time they won't be confined to the sidewalks.

Supporters of peace from all backgrounds and age groups are gathering at Victoria Park on Saturday to voice their opposition to the American drive for war with Iraq, said Rebecca Coulter, a professor in the faculty of education and organizer of the event.

"One reason for the rally on Saturday is [to demonstrate] a moment of solidarity with all of the American peace activists, to say 'We are standing with you,'" Coulter said, noting Saturday's organization is part of an international day of peace.

Coulter also explained the protest is necessary in order to keep the pressure on politicians, and let them know how a great number of their constituents feel about the potential war, and to encourage people in the London community to voice their opinions as well.

The rally begins at 1 p.m., and following some brief speeches, the demonstrators will parade along Richmond Street towards downtown, while under the escort of police.

Anyone looking for more information about the protest can e-mail its organizers at forpeace@sympatico.ca.

–Chris Webden

Bands battling for spirit bear

Western students are being challenged to save the habitat of the spirit bear and celebrate with a battle of the bands.

The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition is launching an awareness campaign about the plight of British Columbia's spirit bear, the white Kermode bear unique to the woodlands of the province's west coast, said Matthew Tomkins, the University Students' Council's environmental awareness commissioner.

According to Tomkins, in March 2001, coalition lobbying succeeded in attaining the environmental protection of 145,000 of the 290,000 hectares of land in which the spirit bear resides, and an additional 172,000 hectares has been set aside as an "option for development."

Lobbying from environmental groups and the logging industry have been persistent, Tomkins explained, adding the land's use will be decided by the provincial legislature in July.

"The challenge is this: [Spirit Bear Youth Coalition] are encouraging students to write letters to either Premier [Gordon] Campbell or [the minister of environment]. The school that submits the most letters wins a free concert and battle of the bands," Tomkins said.

Additional information on the cause can be found at www.spiritbearyouth.org.

–Anthony Lafratta


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