Learning Outside the Classroom: The FTAA Protests
in Quebec City
By Bridgette Bartlett '01
With my stinging eyes squinted closed, a vinegar-soaked bandana over
my mouth and my affinity group at my side, we rushed along the street
trying to outpace the neurotoxins that filled the air in Quebec City.
Some protesters cautioned people to walk and stay calm; others offered
eyewashes and water bottles to those afflicted by the tear gas and pepper
spray being launched into the crowds. Lines of additional police and
giant water cannons advanced as a group of SLU students gathered to
call it a day and head back to the vans.
I was there because I had concerns about many aspects of the FTAA agreement.
Under this kind of free trade agreement, public health and safety laws,
which help protect the environment and worker rights, can be considered
barriers to trade.