Fink has admitted to burning down the Pride Flag, but pled not guilty to her charge in front of a judge today in Richmond Provincial Court.
“In the interest of public health and safety I plead not guilty,” said Fink.
Initially, the act was viewed as most likely a hate crime, and the university described it as “an act of hate and in contravention of the values of equity, inclusion, and respect deeply held by the university community.” But in recent interviews with multiple media outlets, Fink, a transsexual UBC student, has revealed that she views her actions as a form of protest against the fault that she sees in the inclusion of transsexual people in the LGBT spectrum.
“It’s a medical condition. It doesn’t have to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual issue,” she told The Ubyssey outside of the courthouse, speaking on transgender and transsexual rights.
She explained further in an interview with Vice, speaking about queer activists in saying that “transsexual patients [like me] try to stay anonymous and silent, and they're bringing attention onto us.”
During her appearance today, Fink was representing herself, but was urged by both the prosecution and the judge to seek legal counsel before her next court date.
“I will seek legal advice,” said Fink to The Ubyssey after the proceedings. “I have no fear to represent myself, but Ms. Lawton, the Crown Counsel … gave me good advice and I will follow her advice.”
The matter will go to trial for three days next year, from March 15 to 17 in 2017. Fink has also been reportedly suspended from UBC, with a decision from the university to come later in the month.