Albright Monument, Winnipeg
Students, peace activists, faith community members, Aboriginal leadership and others will gather this Sunday, October 16, beginning at 9:00 am â€” at or near the University of Winnipegâ€™s fall convocation venue (The Duckworth Centre: Athletic and Recreational Facility) â€” in protest of the University of Winnipegâ€™s decision to convey the honourary degree of Doctor of Laws upon former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
While U.S. Secretary of State under the Clinton Administration, Madeleine Albright accelerated despicable acts of state terror against the peoples of Iraq through aid, food and medical-services delivery embargoes, resultingin the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and countless others.
Albright was also a chief backer of the 1999 bombing of the former Yugoslavia under NATO auspices. A facade of humanitarian intervention, the U.S.-led NATO attack was, in fact, motivated more towards greater imperial control over the geo-politically strategic region, which served to only worsen the genocidal clash between Albanians and Serbs on the ground.
â€œUniversity of Winnipeg graduates are right to denounce the receipt of this degree to one such as Albright,â€ says University of Winnipeg Studentsâ€™ Association (UWSA) Vice-President Student Services Andriy Michalchyshyn. â€œThis degree granting,â€ adds Michalchyshyn, â€œmars the successes achieved by our graduates â€“ many of whom are convocating with standings in peace, international politics and conflict resolution studies.â€
Adds protest organizing committee member Krishna Lalbiharie: â€œOf the over 500,000 deaths of children and others accrued through the U.S.-led aid-injunction against Iraq, Albright blithely responded to 60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl, some nine years ago, that while she thought it a â€œvery hard choice, … the price … [was] worth it.â€â€ (60 Minutes, May 12, 1996).
â€œIn conferring this degree, the Lloyd Axworthy-led University of Winnipegâ€™s message is regrettably clear: human toil, snuff and slaughter is the stuff of academic reaching,â€ Lalbiharie surmises.