Sunday, December 23, 2007

Don't Shoot 'Em in my Back Yard


That’s become the new NIMBY for many people in Vancouver. It happened in my neighbourhood last week, just a few streets away. And the murdered man who died in a back alley behind his house on Napier Street had a partner in the real estate business. Pot and real estate is a natural business connection. Who would know better where the best grow-op houses would be, but real estate people? Since the RCMP estimates that the annualized retail return for marijuana cultivated in BC is six billion dollars some growers are willing to simply shoot it out to protect their lucrative territory. Even our esteemed Attorney General Wally Oppal, who says he hardly ever sees his brother who is connected with a grow op house, squirms uncomfortably when questioned about this blood connection, not to mention the drug connection with some ex ministers assistants and God and Goddess only knows who else will eventually surface in the legislature as the ruthlessly suppressed accusations unfold.

$6,000,000,000! Think of that. Could the ready drug cash for grow op houses have anything to do with the obscene prices even the most miserable hovels in the poorest parts of town be making most average income people house and rent poor? Just to make developers and speculators in additon to gang cartels even richer? Well, what else could it be? Just about everybody knows who has ever smoked pot or who smokes pot or knows someone intimately who smokes pot that it is a lot less harmful than alcohol. It’s alcohol that drives people crazy. It’s alcohol that causes fights, car wrecks, wife beating, and child abuse. When I am mayor of Vancouver I will make it a priority to work to legalize pot and tax the hell out of it, as ex-mayor Larry Campbell recently advised ( although I have to wonder why he waited until he was no longer mayor to advise it) and use the proceeds for reasonable housing for everybody. Doesn’t that sound like a workable solution? Why are politicians so afraid to say these things? Well, I’ll say them. And do them. When I’m mayor. When you make me mayor.

Betty Krawczyk

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Sweet Milk of Justice


There is an old adage that says one gets what one pays for. Taxpayers in British Columbia pay a lot for their justice system. And what do they get? They get a system that like a cow, gives steady streams of the sweet milk of justice to posh people including Gordon Campbell's friends of privatization and old money, but decreasing dribbles to the less than posh, which is just about everyone else: those trying to survive the drug trade, ratcheted-up rents and mortgages and over priced food, while being forced to bring in the hay and clean out the barn to boot. In fact, if I remember clearly, even the Law Society of BC was aggravated with Wally Oppal for his part in the trashing of legal services and wrote a letter of non-confidence in him.

Gordon Campbell's privatizing policies are working through the system and showing up in the courtroom. What does a citizen who can't afford high priced lawyers nor qualify for legal aid do? Forget it, which is what the posh hope for. Or do it yourself. That's what I'm choosing. Doing it myself. While I have a great lawyer for my appeal, one who is helping me pro bono, I'm also trying to sue Kevin Falcon, the Minister of Transportation, Peter Kiewit Sons. Co., the West Vancouver Police, and the City of West Vancouver for "Collusion and Malfeasance" in civil court, and as I have no money to speak of, I have to do this myself. And I would like to take as many citizens as possible with me through the process.

It's important. Not only are the issues I raise important in the sense that they concern everyone, the process itself is important. We as citizens must try to understand the legal process in British Columbia or else remain helpless before it. Either we make it work for us, or it will continue to work for them, the posh agencies of government and corporations that puzzle and stifle us with legaleeze language and processes that hide not only their ideologies, but also their actions. Well, I'm for making it work for us!

So I want to take those interested with me step by step as I negotiate the legal process of trying to sue the agencies of government and corporations that destroyed the eco integrity of Eagleridge Bluffs and caused the untimely death of Harriet Nahanee. In my next missile I will tackle the first step in filing a law suit and applying for a jury trial. I will keep you posted about these actions here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Will Santa Buy Betty a Jury?


Yes, Please. Because that’s how one gets a jury in a civil trial in British Columbia. Never heard of such a thing? Well, neither have I. It does beat all. Lordy, Lord. Just about when I think I see my way around government by injunction in BC Courts, I’m hit with another impediment. It goes this way:

No BC Supreme Court Justice will give me a jury trial for contempt of court. I know that. I also know that I and anyone else charged with contempt of court will never receive a fair trial, even if they, as I have, wound up spending years in the prisons of BC for contempt of court. So, what to do? Well, I am thinking seriously of suing The Minister of Transportation and The West Vancouver Police for malfeasance (I might add the Attorney General of BC as well), Kietwit and Sons for physical endangerment (one of their employees tried to make me move out of the way by backing into my standing space with a humongous machine, which I have on tape), and all three of these entities for collusion to deprive me upon arrest the right to the protections of the criminal code, by refusing to arrest according to the law and waiting for the extraordinary remedy of an injunction. They deprived me and those involved in the charge at Eagleridge Bluffs our right to due legal process. Is that clear?

Okay, it’s kind of complicated. But this would be a civil court case as opposed to a criminal one, and the questions raised are in the public interest. As a civil litigant I could ask for and reasonably expect to be granted a jury in a civil suit. I could also represent myself in trial thus eliminating the need to pay a lawyer.

You might say, "Go for it Betty," but there’s an additional money problem. In BC, one has to buy a jury. Yet, even Mr. Justice J. Bouck, that most traditional leaning justice of the Clayoquot mass trials believes having to buy a jury is outrageous. In a paper about civil jury trial (Assessing non-pecuniary damages and civil jury reform) Mr. Justice Bouck writes “these fees restrict a citizen’s right to access justice. Today in BC it costs a litigant who applies for a civil jury trial $1,500 for summoning and empanelling a jury and $650 for each trial day thereafter. On top of that there's a daily trial fee of $312”

In the same paper Mr. Justice Bouck also informs us that the Nova Scotia Supreme court abolished these fees as unconstitutional in 1998 because “they put a price on accessing the courts, a price on justice.” So BC remains the only province in Canada that charges for a jury. I think it is time for a constitutional challenge on this point alone, but it may take awhile as I will have to put some money up front with my request for a jury, probably about five thousand dollars.

But I have this dream. A dream in which after hearing my evidence a jury announces that trying to discourage citizens from protecting the incredible, life giving, life sustaining, stunningly beautiful forests, streams, rivers, watersheds, wild animals, and people habitat, by placing them in a special extraordinary category of arrest to discourage any legal defense, will no longer be allowed. Then, and only then, will all of these questions of who owns British Columbia anyway, be brought into the courtroom on a level playing field. Yes, I have that dream, and it is do-able. Help me buy a jury! Small donations welcome.

Betty K.

NOTE from Monika Sheardown
Despite the somewhat humourous appearance of this email, Betty is very serious about this. If you were wondering what to give Betty for Christmas this year, wonder no more. Please make her dream come true, and perhaps change the future of environmental protest in BC.

HELP BUY BETTY A JURY !
Contributions in any amount are appreciated.
Send cheques to:
Betty K Fund
1945 Creelman Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6J 1B8

Indicate whether you would like a button of Betty sitting on Santa's lap.

Blog: http://bettysearlyedition.blogspot.com/

Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Courts and Torts

What is a tort? Something that lives in a courtroom and is tossed about by lawyers and judges. Are torts important to the average person? In theory, yes. Like the concept of democracy. But just let the average person try to get into the act of tort tossing or actually try to exercise a little participatory democracy and he or she will find the courts frowning upon them for daring to approach the courts bare faced without a certified tort tosser (lawyer).

It’s galling. Worse than galling. It’s criminal. We citizens own the courts in the sense that we pay for the buildings, the salaries of the court workers in the buildings, including the judges, the services of the crown, and the bailiffs who hold the accused in cells awaiting their turn to see the judge and yet as citizens we can’t defend ourselves or file a suit of our own without access to a pile of money. In a very real sense the provincial government and the court system use the courts and the laws of the court against citizens in appalling ways. And one of the most effective ways is to make us afraid.

Afraid of our own sense of justice, of our own common sense, afraid of losing what little money we live on. The BC courts too often use the mantra of the fundamentalist churches: park your good sense and common notion of justice and what money you may have at the court house door when you step into the courtroom. Here all will worship at the alter of legal precedence, precedences that are totally inappropriate to the here and now, and even debatable whether they were ever appropriate.

So what can we as citizens do? When governments smile and say “green” for the camera while planning more private public partnerships to suck up more public money for greedy developers? Plans that will make more pollution, more traffic congestion, more general depression of land and people and animals?

I hate to say this; it makes my own toes curl. But we have to learn more about the law. As lawyers have priced themselves out of the market (with the exception of a few, very few, super legal heroes) for most people, we’ll just have to do it ourselves. We’ll have to learn what tort tossing is about. We have to learn how to file suits, write legal arguments and then argue them ourselves. And there is one thing I have learned about judges.

On the whole, judges are not especially brainy people. They are actually rather a lazy bunch. Rather than try to interpret case law in any new or insightful way that would fit the situations and our times and perils, BC judges simply prefer to cite the same rulings of other judges ad nauseam. And as we citizens push forward with learning something about the law this would in turn push the judges into a position of actually having to earn their pay by thinking about citizen’s rights instead of corporate might. The future of our province, our country and even our world may depend on this.

I intend to toss some torts myself and I’ll keep you posted.

Betty Krawczyk

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Betty announces her Candidacy for Mayor of Vancouver


After 7 months of incarceration at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Betty Krawczyk returned to Vancouver and hit the ground running. After a number of television, radio and newspaper interviews, she addressed a packed audience at her Welcome Back rally last night at the Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver. Speakers included key figures such as author and journalist Rex Weyler, Deputy Leader Green Party of Canada Adriane Carr, Lawyers Cameron Ward, Pivot Legal Society's David Eby, Wilderness Committee's Joe Foy, CFRO's Charles Boylan, indigenous activist Kat Norris and many others. Each stated their views about a world in which a great-grandmother that stands up for our environment and democracy is awarded with jail-time by our courts and our government.

Liberal politician David Orchard sent his message to Mrs Krawczyk via a letter stating "Inside the prison you continued your work of fighting for, and speaking out for, those whose voices are seldom heard. Your stand on behalf of our trampled and beleaguered environment is appreciated by multitudes across our country and beyond."

Vancouver singers Edith Wallace, Spirathon, "Stompin' Tom" Mitch Anderson and the Carnival band entertained the crowd. But Betty Krawczyk stole the show when she took the stage to announce her candidacy for Vancouver's next mayoral election. Her announcement, greeted by cheers and applause, was no surprise to many who know her stand on the importance of more "ordinary citizens" to be politically active. For more information see the Facebook group "Betty K for Mayor of Vancouver" at
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7169511067

Upcoming events at which Mrs Krawczyk will speak include:

1.Friday September 28th 5:30 - 8pm
Critical Mass Bike Ride
Behind the Vancouver Art Gallery with the Olympic Clock at Howe and Georgia.
A pedicab will take Betty Krawczyk on this well renowned ride.

2.Friday September 28th 8:00 pm
Betty Welcome Back Party
The Anza Club, #3 West 8th
Fundraiser for her campaign.
This will be a fun event with bands, performances, great DJ's and dancing.

3.Saturday September 29, 5pm
Hello Al, Goodbye Gateway!
Outside the Westin Bayshore Hotel, Cardero North of Georgia
A Rally to Welcome Al Gore to Vancouver and Demand Action on Climate Change. Campbell’s proposed $10 billion Gateway megaproject (twinning the Port Mann Bridge and expansion of Hwy 1 and Delta Port) does not fit with his plan to combat climate change.

4.Sunday September 30th, 12-4pm
The Salmon Celebration
Vanier Park beside Maritime Museum
Honour the spirit of the salmon that used to live in the streams that flowed into False Creek.

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Betty K Released, Welcome today


Betty K was released from Alouette Correctional Centre yesterday. She says she is "happy happy happy" and greeted reporters with her usual wit, wisdom and charm. She re-iterated that the fight at Eagleridge was not over, that it has become a symbol of our Courts serving the corporate agenda. She will go forward with her appeal, and sue Kiewitt & Sons for damages to the environment. She underlined the importance of understanding that social problems and environmental problems are closely intertwined, and that one cannot be solved without addressing the other.

Plans for her immediate future included a hearty breakfast of bacon & eggs, eaten at a nearby diner minutes following her release, later, homemade shrimp with her daughters. More long term political plans will be announced later today at Welcome Back.

5-7pm Wednesday September 26th
Law Courts, HORNBY & NELSON
Betty's Welcome Back!
A tribute to Betty and Harriet Nahane, featuring celebrity speakers, First Nations dancing, music and general revelry.
NOTE: Previous announcements erroneously stated Smithe.

Friday 8pm
Post Critical Mass Bike Ride
Anza Club, 3 West 8th @ Ontario
Join us Friday September 28 to welcome back Betty Krawzcyk.
This will be a fun event with bands, performances, dancing, DJ's
Fundraiser for legal expenses. Suggested: $10, Critical Mass $5
Lineup as previously posted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Betty's Release from ACCW today 8:15 AM


Officials from Alouette Correctional Centre for Women have confirmed that Mrs Krawczyk will be released along with 2 other inmates Tuesday September 25th at 8:15AM.

Betty Krawczyk has been incarcerated at ACCW since March 5th 2007 for breaking a court injunction granted to Kiewiett & Son's. Betty along with other protesters took part in a blockade in an attempt to stop the destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver. This fragile eco-system was obliterated for the expansion of the Sea to Sky Highway as required for real estate developments, with the official pretext of building infrastructure for the 2010 Olympics.

She will be welcomed back on Wednesday, September 26th and Friday September 28th at the following events:

1. Wednesday September 26th 5-7pm at the Law Courts:
Betty's Welcome Back!
Join us back where it all started. A tribute to Betty and Harriet Nahane, featuring celebrity speakers, First Nations dancing, music and general revelry!
Time: Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Place: Vancouver Law Courts, Hornby & Smithe
Line-up:
BETTY K
Chief Capilano
Nu-Chal-Nuth Mike Fraser, and singers
David Eby (Pivot Legal)
Sue Rowan/Ivan Doumenc (Eagleridge Coalition)
Cameron Ward (advisor for Betty K)
Charles Boylan (Co-op Radio)
Spirathon (BAND)
Rex Weyler (author and Co-Founder of Greenpeace)
Joe Foy (Wilderness Committtee)
Conrad Shmidt (Work Less Party)
Wendy Hainstock (SINGER)
Adriane Carr (Green Party)
Damian Kettlewell (Activist and Green Party Candidate)
Edith Wallace (Entertainer)
Darren Woodhead (DJ)
Stompin' Tom (Cowboy)

2. Friday September 28th 8pm at the Anza Club
Please join us Friday September 28 to welcome Betty Krawzcyk back.
This will be a fun event with lots of dancing, bands, performances, great DJ's and much more dancing.
The event is a fund raiser for her legal expenses.

Lineup:
Natural Flavors (Band)
Timothy Wisdom (DJ)
Broken Falls Community Hall Band (Band)
Cabaret Kitty (Cabaret)
Marni Norwich (Poet)
Charles Boylan (Co-op Radio)
and of course Betty K (Revolutionary)
More performers still to be announced

Where:
The Anza Club
#3 West 8th.
Doors open at 8pm

Cost:
$5 if you arrive with Critical Mass
$10 otherwise
NOBODY WILL BE TURNED AWAY DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS !

Take part in Critical Mass Bike Ride
starting at 6pm Vancouver Art Gallery (Olympic Clock)
Betty will be riding as well.

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Betty K Applies to Appear in Court to Defend Laurie Dolan on September 19th


Writing news releases, speeches and books, preparing her appeal, working at the prison library and acting as "Jail Mom" isn't enough to exhaust Betty Krawczyk's seemingly endless energy. Betty has also been sharpening her legal skills at ACCW. She's been helping Laurie Dolan fill out the perplexing forms and legal paperwork to file an appeal, after her house was destroyed and her daughter committed to a Mental Health Institute by her ex-husband as part of an insidious attempt to confiscate votes on the Reserve. Betty has applied to appear in court with Laurie on September 19th, six days before her planned release. Betty provides more details.

Tsawwassen Treaty Collides with Inmate at Alouette from Semihamoo
Dictated by Betty Krawczyk from Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, BC.

So what is this about?

Laurie Dolan, an Alouette inmate, claims that both she and her daughter, Jennifer Dolan were illegally moved from the Semihamoo reserve in order to confiscate their vote. The Semihamoo reserve is a small reserve of 75 people, but just recently made a fuss that might have stopped the Tsawwassen Treaty because they claim some of the land on the Tsawwassen reserve.

However the two bands are now in the process of working out their difficulties, and that deal with the government is set to close soon. However, Laurie Dolan claims that this is fraudulent because her vote and the vote of her daughter have been stole. They had been chased off the reserve by Laurie’s ex-husband, who is also Jennifer’s father - And this expulsion from the Reserve was in collusion with the Semihamoo Chief, Willard Cook.

These two men expelled Laurie and Jennifer from the reserve by destroying their houses on the reserve, so they would no longer have addresses there, and without an address on the reserve, not entitled to vote. Further, as Jennifer Dolan is accusing her father of rape as well as destroying her house, the father had her committed to a Mental Health Institute, under the auspices of the Semihamoo band. And when Laurie Dolan objected to this treatment of their daughter, he had the Reserve police arrest Laurie for uttering threats.

So at this moment, Jennifer Dolan is confined to a Mental Health Facility, her mother Laurie Dolan is in prison, and the Semihamoo “Yes” vote was safely delivered in favour of the Tsawwassen Treaty.

Legal aid refuses to give Laurie a lawyer to appeal the Uttering Threats charge. I have applied to appear in court with Laurie in Court on September 19th as a McKenzie friend of the court, as she has no lawyer, little formal education, and has difficulty with legal language.

Justice in BC is increasingly for sale, and increasingly politicized. When a huge Aboriginal treaty, like the Tsawwassen Treaty could go forward on the back of outright Reserve voter fraud and criminality is pathetic.

Interview by Betty Krawczyk

Blog: http://bettysearlyedition.blogspot.com/

Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/

Betty's Welcome Back Bash
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Vancouver Law Courts, Hornby and Smithe
speakers: Chief Capilano, Rex Weyler, Joe Foy, Adriane Carr, David Eby, Sue Rowan, Tzeporah Berman or Valerie Langer, Cameron Ward, Damian Kettlewell, Conrad Schmidt, Monika Sheardown

To write to Betty Krawczyk:
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women
P.O. Box 1000,
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3K4

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Betty's Welcome Home Bash!!!

The jailbird is getting out Sept 26th.
Let's welcome her back with a big bang:
Featuring Chief Capilano, Rex Weyler, Joe Foy, Tzeporah Berman or Valerie Langer, David Eby, Sue Rowan Edith Wallace, and much much more!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 5 - 8pm
**Note the change in Venue:
Front steps of Criminal Court, corner of Hornby & Smithe Streets in Vancouver

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Announcing Betty's Welcome Back Bash

It's hard to believe that it's been 7 months. Time flies, for us on the outside, anyways. Time for a welcome back bash to celebrate Betty's release from Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.

Date: Wednesday, September 26th
Time: 5 to 7pm
Place: The Olympic or "Free Betty" Clock behind the Vancouver Art Gallery,
Geogia and Howe St., Vancouver
What: A rockin' party including live music, theater performance , celebrity speakers, dancing and general revelry
Why: To welcome Betty after serving time for her efforts to protect Eagleridge Bluffs by standing up to corrupt BC government and corporate policies
Who: EVERYONE (that means you).

More news:

1. ORATO.COM
Betty’s piece is the top story on the homepage of Orato today, an online journalism website featuring stories from around the world.
Check it out at:
http://www.orato.com/node/3359

2. SPIRATHON
Recently, on July 21st, Spirathon, who will perform at "Betty's Welcome Back Bash" performed 'Green Olympics' at Savary Stock II, a benefit concert on Savary Island B.C. On that rainy day, they were thinking of Betty!
Here is a link to their myspace page:
http://www.myspace.com/spirathon
The video is on the right hand side.
It's called Green Olympics Savary Stock II (2007).

3. SUPPORT FOR HIGHWAY OF TEARS
This is the event we are having at the Yale hotel in Vancouver! It is a fundraiser for the Highway of Tears. We hope to see you all there!
http://www.theyale.ca/events2.cfm
Thank you for your much appreciated efforts in this very sensitive issue.
All my Relations,
Gladys Radek
Advocate for the Highway of Tears

4. Fight against corporate use of injuctions to disperse enviro-protectors
RALLY: Sacred Headwaters Rally at Supreme Court
Date and Time: Friday, August 31 from 10am till 1pm
Place: Supreme Court Building, at the southwest entrance at the intersection of Hornby and Nelson Streets, Vancouver

Does it really make sense to jeopardize multiple watersheds with the toxic run-off resulting from coal bed methane extraction methods? Coal bed methane extraction has never been done in a wild salmon environment, and the potential for envrionmental damage is tremendous.
Royal Dutch Shell appears in Vancouver court this Friday to try to get an injunction that will allow the company to have the RCMP arrest blockading Tahltan Elders
preventing Shell from proceeding with its coalbed methane mine. If Shell receives this injunction, arrests could take place as soon as next week.


Here is a test to see if your mission on Earth is complete:
If you're alive, it isn't. Richard Bach

Monday, August 20, 2007

Betty's Interview with herself: Happy Birthday !

Clockwise from left:
Trish, Betty, Krissy, Cori, Tiffany.
Organizers of the Celebration on the occasion of Betty's 79th Birthday.

Betty K's Birthday Interview
Maybe we should attribute it to old age, spending too much time alone, or simply an overactive imagination, but in honour of her 79th birthday Betty has provided us with another interview: with herself.

Question: So Betty, here's a photo of you celebrating your 79th birthday in prison, with your friends. Is this the first time you've celebrated a birthday in prison?

Answer: No. My third. I celebrated my 56th and 76th birthdays in prison.

Question: So what are you going to do? Make a career our of going to prison? It's almost as if you like prison.

Answer: No, I don't like prison. But I've learned a trick that makes prison tolerable for me. I'm a writer, so I start writing about the other prisoners, and their lives. I've learned to live in the moment as they say. And then something quite unexpected happened. I realized that these women are like women everywhere. And while most are battling with severe addictions, they have the same hopes and dreams as women everywhere. And more than that, drugs are spoiling our society and that we have to start treating the drug addicted as the problem, not the sensible part.

Q: So how did you celebrate your 79th birthday?

A: Well, as you can see from the picture, there was a kind of party where I was given this huge, very funny card, and enough cake with lots of icing to feed the 100 women in the camp. The next thing is that it was all a total surprise.

Q: How could 150 women keep the same secret?

A: Amazing.

Q: So tell us Betty, what secrets have your 79 years brought you?

A: That the only thing one can absolutely control is oneself. One's reaction to one's environment. Forget trying to dictate the final outcome of any endeavour. Faith, or serendipity, or unseen forces of the Universe, all have their own agendas. And will intervene and work, sometimes with your own aim, and sometimes against it. At the end you are left primarily only with your only reaction. But when we choose those, when we choose how one will react to life's forces, it's a process. I'm in a process.

Q: But also in prison. You'll be out when? Sept 25th? What will you do then?

A: The very first thing I'm going to do is eat as much shrimp as I can hold. My daughter Marion will be cooking them at her place, and as soon as Monika picks me up and takes me to Marion's place, we're going to promptly dive into a pile of shrimp. I can't wait. I've been dreaming of shrimp.

Q: Aren't you afraid that talking about shrimp will alienate your vegetarian fans?

A: Yes. I'm reminded frequently. But shrimp are in a special category. I believe that shrimp have been created especially for me to eat.

Q: I see. You're joking aren't you?
A: No.
Q: Let's wrap this up. So you're now 79 years young.

A: No, I'm 79 years old. I am old. I recognize that I am old. Being old is good. Good things come with being old. I want to encourage more old people to not only accept being old, but to make being old trendy... after all there are increasing numbers of us.

Q: I'm not sure, you might be dreaming about that one.

But anyway, Happy Birthday.

A: Thank You!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Going, Going Gone... With Gordon Scissorhands


Gordon Scissorhands?
Could I be referring to our Olympic crazed Premier?
Oh yes.
Gordon Campbell has clipped, chopped, cut and shredded not only union contracts in his mad push to privatization, but most of our social contracts as well. Including a citizens' ability to freely access our BC justice system.

Scissorhands Chop Chop has largely removed justice seeking for the middle class by severely curtailing legal aid and closing many courthouses and displacing legal workers in the field. And we have a BC attorney general who thinks this is just fine. Wally Oppal has publicly stated that if citizens actually want to be allowed in the Supreme Court seeking justice, or to bring forth an appeal, he or she better have deep pockets. Right on Mr.Oppal.

It’s an exclusive club that can get before the Supreme Court or appeal court these days. Especially if an appeal has to do with a citizen's right to protect the environment. In order to even bring an appeal before the court, one must have all the transcripts of the original trial. In order to get the transcripts, without which there will be no appeal, one must buy them. In my case, cost of the transcripts is almost $12,000.

I find these kinds of charges, to even get into appeals court ironic and outrageous. After all, taxpayers pay for the courthouse building, and the salaries of everyone who works in the courthouse. Including the drastically shrinking body of legal aid lawyers. And the crown lawyers? And the government lawyers? These high priced legal denizens who whip out case after case to demonstrate to a judge’s, usually happy satisfaction, that the citizen before the court is not of their own elitist mindset, and is of no concern to their own iron grip on the law. And who pays for these lawyers and justices? Why the tax-paying citizens of course. And so our own money, which was earmarked for citizens seeking legal justice, is confiscated by government, the attorney general who is a government appointee, and the crown who also works for the government. And then this money is used to deny justice to anyone even questioning this process. And the environment be damned.

Well, maybe. My own appeal is going forward. It was the 17th century poet Goethe who said "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”.
We’ll see, Goethe. We'll see.

Betty Krawczyk

Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com
www.greendreams.com

Note to the media: Telephone interviews with Betty from Jail:
Please send your telephone number to monika@greendreams.com,
and she will do her best to accomodate you.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Freedom of the Press, How Do I Love Thee?


Let me count the ways...
The North Shore News, Georgia Straight, Victoria Street News, Island Tides, and several other weekly and monthly presses. But I don't love the Canadian daily news. Their owners and editorialists are philosophically embedded deep in the heart of Texas, far away from the needs of the Canadian people.
Privatize, privatize, privatize, that is their US and Canadian mantra. Hoping to suck up as much public money for private partnership ventures as possible. But the irony is that it is only a free press and the electronic media that can stand between us and them. It is the Internet that is stepping up to the plate, with local websites such as the Tyee, and other international ones. Citizens are increasingly looking there for clues as to what is actually happening in the world. And in spite of having to shovel back tons of implicit sex talk and images on the Internet, that men can't seem to get enough of (whenever large electronic systems, such as banking systems, crash I always suspect that some new sex toy or sex video has hit the market), the hard news (pardon the expression) still has a way of filtering through. When Campbell suggests that BC women and children should take to the woods with guns to try to kill what's left of our wild animals, because the men seem to be losing their appetite for it, we can turn to Google for a reality check. Are there any precedents that teaching children to kill animals for fun is a good thing? What percentage of mothers agree with this?
And when Mr. Falcon, Minister of Transportation suggests we should adopt China's methods of dealing with environmental protesters, that is, to simply move protesters out of the way, without any pretense of due legal process, Mr. Falcon is upping the bar for the Campbell government's contempt for citizens and the environment. And while the China policy may seem like a good method to Mr. Falcon for nullifying protesters, I wonder if Mr. Falcon would agree with the China policy of dealing with public officials who tell blatant lies to their people, or steal, or accept bribes.
These Chinese public officials are simply executed. If we suddenly adopted that same China policy in BC today, I wonder how many of Mr. Campbell's cabinet and ministers and officials would be left standing tomorrow. There might be a rash of openings to be filled. But whatever, at least we are not Mexico, where the drug lords have begun to kill reporters. Not yet anyways. But if we don't protect freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, with all our might, we will lose them entirely. And we won't like what takes their place. Not one bit.
Betty's Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/
For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com
www.greendreams.com
Note to the media: Telephone interviews with Betty from Jail:
Please send your telephone number to monika@greendreams.com,
and she will do her best to accomodate you.
HELP FREE BETTY!
Betty is facing costs of around 20K(!) for the transcrips for her appeal alone. The court system seems to favour the possibility of appealing to the rich. Proceeds from the sale of these T-shirts will go to Betty's expenses in her fight for justice.
See a previous posting to this blog for details on how to order yours !

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Prison is making me an addict.

A TV addict.
At home, I don't even have a TV. I get the news from other sources. But here, it's TV news or nothing. That would be OK, for the short haul, which is turning into a long haul, since the chief justice denied my release pending appeal, except for the commercials. The TV ads are definitely messing with my head.
A few are funny. Like the boss lady who gets fouled by a faulty mute button. You know the one. Or ads that would be funny if they weren't so sick. Like the Weyerhauser ads using a cut-out tree (inadvertently symbolizing a clear-cut forest) to persuade us that a dead forest is better than a live one. Or, the automobile ads, selling powerful engines to propel reckless young men though our city streets like deadly missiles. The ads for male erectile disfunction simply mistify me. It seems that a whole new language has been invented by men, to keep women in the dark about this problem. The question I have... Wouldn't women be the first to know of a problem?
The ads that really grab my attention are the ones for items not sold in stores. My first downfall was for a book. One that promised secret health remedies. As Telus prohibits prisoners from toll free calls, I contacted my youngest daughter. It didn't occur to me that her masters degree in communication would present a problem. And it didn't at first. She readily ordered the book. But the next time I called, for a food chopper, she hesitated. She suggested that perhaps I should wait until I was released to go shopping. "This chopper isn't sold in stores", I insisted, "and it chops whole onions and potatoes in one swoop." She reminded me that everything looks easier and smoother on TV. At this point it occurred to me that I might have to switch to another daughter for future orders. Unfortunately, when the really neat wall lamp that ran on batteries came to my attention, the other daughters were working or out of town. I instructed the now frankly disapproving daughter to order several of them.
"Mom, stop it!" she demanded. "You hate TV, remember?"
"That's when I'm not in prison," I answered stubbornly.
"But don't you see,"my daughter persisted, "you're being persuaded by a television ad to want something you didn't even know existed."
"But I know now," I snapped, "and I want them."
She sighed heavily.
"Alright, I'll order the bloody things."
But I felt kind of deflated when I hung up, and couldn't help thinking, maybe I'm doubly imprisoned when I turn on the TV. A kind of prison within a prison, so to speak. I have to think about this.
Betty Krawczyk
For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
monika@greendreams.com
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
http://www.greendreams.com/
Note to the media: Telephone interviews with Betty:
Please send your telephone number with the date and time you'd like to speak with Betty. She will do her best to accomodate you.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One Musn't Speak of Injunctions


Was I surprised at the denial of my application for Release Pending Appeal by the justice of the BC Supreme Court?
No. Not at all.
I was entirely aware when I applied that had I committed murder, or some other heinous crime against a fellow citizen, that I would have been much more likely to have gained release pending appeal.
The reality is that our BC courts don't heavily censure crimes against persons. But anything, anything at all, no matter how physically peaceful, but that in any way might threaten corporate rights, to plunder community health, social and environmental assets, will suffer the fierce and mighty fist of BC Supreme court displeasure.
This fierce and mighty fist will come down wrapped in the leaden paper of court ordered injunctions, tied with the deadly string of contempt of court charges.
And the justification?
One musn't draw attention to the fact of BC supreme court's use of injunctions to quell citizens' dissent. No, one musn't talk about injunctions at all. Especially to the press.
One may be arrested under injunctions, charged and tried under injunctions, sentenced to long prison terms, and may even die under an injunction as Harriet Nahanee died, but one musn't speak of injunctions to anyone.
Isn't that silly? Isn't that against all common sense?
And for this, I was denied release pending appeal.
So I'll be in prison for 3 more months, but that' OK. They can lock me up forever, but that still doesn't make it right for BC supreme courts to strip their citizens of their most precious hard won right :
That of freedom of speech.
Betty K
Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Live: 7PM Wed June 27 on CFRO 102.7 FM

Charles Boylan: Live: www.coopradio.org,
Archive: www.wakeupwithcoop.org)

Listen to Coop radio 7PM Wednesday June 27 to catch Dorothy Christian and friend, Betty Krawczyk (to be confirmed) Sue Rowan (to be confirmed) and Monika Sheardown.
Focus is the struggle of people to create an alternative way of running the economy and development that is not dictated by the bottom line. Dorothy is organizing the coming July 5th conference "Protect our Sacred Waters".

Friday, June 22, 2007

For the Love of John and Jane Doe


I am Jane Doe. Or was. So was Harriet Nahanee. That's how we were described in the Eagleridge Bluffs injunction (ordered by Mr. Justice Grist) that culminated in Harriet's early death and my my own 10 month incarceration.

And I've been doing some thinking about this. One can only conclude that the judicial practice of allowing the dumping of hoards of unnamed citizens into the Jane and John Doe category is a dangerous one. Both in reality (Harriet Nahanee's untimely death and my own imprisonment at Alouette) and in principle. It is certainly undemocratic not to have the dignity of your own name
listed in a judge's order (injunction) that may incarcerate you or even kill you.

The real reason Harriet and I we not included in the injunction under our real names was because Mr. Falcon, BC's Minister of transport, and Kiewitt & Sons didn't want to themselves be seen as prosecuting us. They wanted Madam Justice Brown to do the prosecuting. And Madam stepped up to the plate with Contempt of Court charges, which then pitted our Offices against her Offices. The Supreme Court of BC has mighty offices indeed. We all know who died and who's is prison. However, at least during the Contempt hearings, I was called Mrs Krawczyk in court, instead of Jane Doe. And I thought when the original injunction came up for renewal, (May 15th) that I would be allowed to apply to speak against the renewal of the injunction on the grounds that I was one of the Jane Doe's on the order. This is customarily granted, especially if one is incarcerated under the order. But silly me. I was cut off at the pass. I was told the entire category of Jane Doe had bee eliminated on the order. And as my own name wasn't on the application either, I had no right to speak against the renewal, even though I am imprisoned by it.

I was, and remain quite stunned by the brilliance of the government and the corporate lawyers. But why shouldn't they be brilliant? They are the best that our tax payers' money can buy. And I am just as stunned by our own BC Supreme Court's willingness to legalize a process that demonstrates how a court system protects a corporate system; both of which are arrogant, rude, lazy, and hold contempt for due process of law and the rights of cititzents involved in environmental dispute.

I protest. For myself, for Harriet Nahanee, and for all of the disappeared Jane and John Doe's of the world.
Betty K



Stand Up for Harriet Nahanee!

People across the British Columbia were shocked by the 14 day jail sentence handed down to 71 year old native Elder Harriet Nahanee in January, 2007 for peacefully protesting while inside an injunction zone (on unceded indian land) at Eagleridge Bluffs. Harriet served 9 days in prison at a maximum security pre-trial facility. She had filed an appeal, but became gravely ill and died from pneumonia shortly after being released from prison.

A petition that raises specific concerns surrounding Harriet Nahanee’s sentencing is in circulation. It demands that our elected officials call an immediate public inquiry into the handling of this case.

Please honour a very courageous native elder by reading the petition, signing it and passing the link on to others on your contact lists.

The Supreme Court of BC must be held accountable for their actions in this case. It is the duty of our elected officials to ensure that a full and public inquiry is held.







REFUSED : Application for Release Pending Appeal


Betty Krawczyk's application for release pending appeal was refused, following Justice Finch's decision. The decision was not surprising as no one was there to represent Mrs. Krawczyk for the application. Strangely, in the citation included below, it lists that the judgment was made "Before : The Honourable Chief Justice Finch (In Chambers), with B. Krawcyzk on her own behalf, and M.J. Brundrett, Counsel for the Respondent (Crown)." However, Betty was not present to "represent herself on her own behalf," nor was anyone else.

As this case continues, our judicial system is becoming an increasing embarrassment to British Columbia and Canada. Our citizens are stripped of their democratic rights when the come up against the interests of corporations and of a self-interested government, one claiming to be "Green", hosting a "Green Olympics", welcoming Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and his advisors.

The full text of the judgement is below. Please write to the following politicians to state your opinion on the handling of justice in our province.

Gordon Campbell
Premier of BC
3615 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6R 1P2
Phone: 604-660-3202
Fax: 604-660-5488

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-941-6900

Honourable Wally Oppal
Attorney General of BC
Room 234 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V1X4
Tel: (250) 387-1866 Fax: (250) 387-6411

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

To contact Betty Krawczyk, write to:
Betty Krawczyk
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women
P.O. Box 1000
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3K4


For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
cel: 778.865.0664


COURT OF APPEAL FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA

Citation:
R. v. Krawczyk,


2007 BCCA 327
Date: 20070612

Docket: CA034884

Between:

Regina

Respondent

And

Betty Krawczyk

Applicant/Appellant


Before:
The Honourable Chief Justice Finch
(In Chambers)


B. Krawczyk
On her own behalf
M. J. Brundrett
Counsel for the Respondent (Crown)
Written Submissions Received:

20 and 27 April and 6 June 2007

Place and Date of Judgment:
Vancouver, British Columbia
12 June 2007

Reasons for Judgment of the Honourable Chief Justice Finch:

[1] Mrs. Krawczyk applies in writing for release from custody pending her appeal against conviction on 8 February 2007 for criminal contempt of court, and against the sentence imposed on 5 March 2007 of ten months in custody. Her appeals are as of right under s. 10 of the Criminal Code.

[2] The Crown opposes the applicant's release. With respect to both the conviction and sentence appeals, the Crown concedes that Mrs. Krawczyk has established that she will surrender herself into custody if released. However, the Crown contends that she has failed to establish on a balance of probabilities that her appeal against conviction is not frivolous, her appeal against sentence has sufficient merit, and that her detention is not necessary in the public interest (see s. 679 (3) and (4)).

[3] In the affidavit Mrs. Krawczyk has filed in support of her application, she says she is not a security risk, will not repeat her contemptuous conduct and, as a self-represented litigant, would be better able to prepare her appeals if she were not in custody.

[4] The applicant's grounds of appeal against conviction are that she was denied the right of trial by jury, various of her Charter rights were infringed, and the judge hearing the contempt proceedings refused to recuse herself. I can see no merit in any of these grounds. This Court has previously held there is no right to a jury trial in contempt proceedings such as these. There is no constitutionally protected right to breach a court order. I see no substance in the allegation that there was an appearance of judicial bias in the judge who heard the contempt proceedings.

[5] As to the sentence appeal, Mrs. Krawczyk has previously been convicted of criminal contempt of court on four occasions. The longest sentence imposed was six months. There is little prospect that a division of this Court would interfere with the sentence imposed.

[6] The appellant has not shown that her continued detention is not necessary in the public interest. Her contempt for the court's order was deliberate. She repeated her open defiance of the order, well aware of the effect of her conduct, for the purpose of attracting media attention. The probable discharge date from her sentence is 25 September 2007. It is likely her sentence will be completed before this appeal could be heard.

[7] Release pending appeal would effectively provide the relief Mrs. Krawczyk seeks on appeal, without a proper consideration by a panel of this Court of the merits of either the conviction or sentence appeals. The Court's processes should not be short-circuited in this way.

[8] The application for release pending appeal is refused.

“The Honourable Chief Justice Finch”

Monday, June 11, 2007

Betty Krawczyk Application for Release to be Heard Tomorrow Tuesday 12 June


Betty Krawczyk's Application for Release pending appeal will be heard tomorrow Tuesday June 12. She's served 3 months of her 10 months jail sentence time, needs to be out in order to bring her appeal to court. The Crown will be presenting a 125 page factum of reasons citing why Mrs Krawczyk shouldn't be released.
However, there will be no one at the application hearing to represent Mrs Krawczyk. The Crown has stated that she could not be there, and as Betty is self-represented, there will be no one in court to speak for her.
Mike Brundrett, the council for the Crown, is saying that Mrs Krawczyk's appeal is "frivolous". Betty's position is that the Crown's position is frivolous, because the issue that is being dealt with in this case, impacts every man, woman and child in British Columbia.
The application will be heard in the Supreme Court of Vancouver, tomorrow, Tuesday June 12th 2007. For details on time please inquire at the information counter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Open letter to Wally Oppal

Betty Krawczyk,
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women
P.O. Box 1000,
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3K4

May 11th 2007

Open letter to Wally Oppal

Mr. Wally Oppal,
I take umbrage with your denial that you had anything to do with my arrest, charge, judgement and sentencing for my protest at Eagleridge Bluffs. Yes, serious umbrage, Mr. Oppal. In your letters to enquiries from citizens, you pretend that you, the highest administrator of justice in this province, have no responsibility for how the police arrest protesters, while at the same time refuse to use the remedies at your disposal to force police to arrest under Canadian law.
When you first took office you told a reporter that you favoured arresting protesters under injunctions and that you wouldn’t be changing this practice. Are you really claiming now that you don’t see any connection between my hard time 10 month sentence (and Harriet Nahanee’s untimely death) and your injunctions? You know very well, Mr. Oppal, that arrest under an injunction leaves citizens with no legal defense. Of course you do. This is why as Attorney General you favour this method of controlling citizens who protest government actions. You knew very well that an injunction would tangle myself and others up with Madam Justice Brown (or some other equally conservative judge) over the court order itself, instead of allowing us to defend our actions under Canadian law.
You know too, Sir, that Mandamus is a writ that the Attorney General can use to make the police arrest law breakers when for whatever reason the police are reluctant to do so. Mandamus will call for immediate arrest under the Criminal Code. Instead, Mr. Oppal, you encourage the continued practice of discouraging the arrest of protesters lawfully under the Criminal Code, and instead wait for your Minister of Transportation and its contractor (in this case P. Kiewit & Sons) to bring an injunction in first and then arrest.
Why sir, do you prefer this method of arrest? I know the answer as well as you. Because when we are arrested under an injunction we have no defense in court. Absolutely none.
I am sincerely sorry you have prostrate cancer Mr. Oppal. But you aren’t alone. So do hoards of other Canadian men who either have, or will have, prostrate cancer caused, I am convinced, primarily by the environmental destruction and chemical pollution brought about by governments who give free reign to corporations to pollute as they see fit, all in the name of development. And Gordon Campbell’s government is worse than most. There is an epidemic of cancer on this continent. I personally have lost two adult children to cancer. While you are crying for your own cancer, Mr. Oppal, cry for other Canadians too, because as long as the law, law enforcement and governments like yours favour corporate profit over human and environmental health, cancer will increase. Yes, cry for all the cancer victims Mr. Oppal. They are legion.

Betty Krawczyk

Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Free Betty" shirts have arrived !












.
Award winning photo by Ron Watts of Saltspring Island.
Hand silkscreening by Andy Sinats in Victoria.
Creative input from Damian Kettlewell.
Design by yours truly.
These 70% Bamboo, 30% Organic Cotton Tee's from HT Naturals have binding on the neck and a cap sleeve.
This shirt is a must have staple that isn't just a fashion statement!

But seriously folks, all sales proceeds will go to Betty's Appeal funds, sorely needed.
The date for appeal is looming faster than we think...

ORDER YOUR LIMITED EDITION SHIRTS NOW!
Prices, including tax, and delivery:
$25 all Bamboo T's.
$20 cotton shirts, while quantities last.
$35 women's long sleeved.

Orders via snail-mail only.
Send a cheque for the shirts, plus any donation you wish to add.
Cheques payalbe to "Betty K Fund".
Remember to include:
1. number of shirts
2. Men / Women / Long (not pictured) for each one
3. Size: S, M, L, XL for each one
4. Cotton ($20) or Bamboo ($25) or Long ($35)

Mail to:
Betty K Fund
Attention: Monika Sheardown
1945 Creelman Avenue
Vancouver BC
V6J 1B8

We will send your T-shirt(s) promptly!
Best wishes,
-Monika

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Herbicides, Pesticides and XX Chromosomes


Dictated by Betty Krawczyk from Alouette Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, BC.

According to Province newspaper, April 26th, there is a gender ratio crisis on the Aamjiwnaang Reserve in Sarnia. Situated right across from a chemical plant (Sarnia is mostly chemical plants) the natives of the reserve are wondering if the chemicals being spewed out by this plant have anthying to do with the fact that there are two girls being born to 1 boy on the reserve.
Researchers , the ones concerned wth such things as gender ratio in species, have been worried for some time about the reproduction of the human species.
Historically there are 104 males born to every 100 females. Nature compensates for the high death rates for males in infancy and childhood by giving boys a numerical advantage at conception. However, this advantage is being altered by chemical pollutants.
It is coming to light that the chemical soup we all live in (herbicides, pesticides, plastics, industrial effluent) contain compounds that mimic estrogen. Human males already have all the estrogen they need. More is not better.
These compounds seem to be responsible not only for the 50% drop in sperm count in the last 50 years, but is also affecting chromosomes in the sperm. Researchers tell us that, in general, there seem to be more XX chromosomes in sperm than before, which results in more girls.
The moral of the story? More chemicals means more girls are born. But if pollution is curbed, will the ratio return to normal? Not according to some researchers. They fear these chemicals stay in the human body and are passed on to the next generation. Will our coming generations be composed predominantly of women? And what would that mean to the evolution of the human race? These questions boggle my mind. But this morning I am off to the prison libray, where I have assumed a job of prison librarian.
More later.

contact information:
Betty Krawczyk
Alouette Correctional Centre for Women
P.O. Box 1000,
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3K4

Books: http://www.booksofbettyk.com/

Media contact
c/o Monika Sheardown
direct: 604.733.4884 cel: 778.865.0664
monika@greendreams.com
www.greendreams.com

If you wish to speak with Betty,
send an email with the day and time that you would like to set for the call.
We will do our best to accomodate you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Salisbury Steak and Coal Fired Plants


Dictated by Betty Krawczyk from Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, BC.

This is too much to be borne I think, as I stare down at the little dry tough hamburger patty on my plate in the dining hall at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, with a few frozen vegetables and half a bowl of watery soup this dinner offering is listed on the evening menu as a salisbury steak dinner. Salisbury steak? A scant hamburger patty, so tough, women bend plastic knives striving to cut the loathsome little things into bite size pieces. Salisbury steak? This is such a blatant egregious lie it insults every prisoner in here. I really can't understand how this privatized food service (Compass) gets by with it. Or maybe I do.
The Campbell government has obviously contracted out prison food to the lowest possible bidder. One, I understand, that feeds us prisoners on $1.60 per day. That's $1.60 for all three meals. And then again I understand, the manager gets a bonus for coming under budget. So how does one come under budget on $1.60 per day per prisoner? By serving a dry, freezer burned hamburger patty and calling it a salisbury steak. Ha!
But why am I surprised? This is the way Gordon Campbell and his government operate on all things. People worried about the environment? Call in Arnold Schwarzenegger. The glamourous Hollywood hype will obscure the fact that Campbell didn't consult Dr. David Suzuki or others who actually know something about the environment. But by calling a dry, freezer burned hamburger patty a salisbury steak, Gordon Campbell can continue to sponsor coal fired plants, destroy our public forests which serve magnificently as carbon sinks, and continue to exterminate urban green spaces like Eagleridge Bluffs.
Calling this "green policy" is like calling a pitiful little hamburger patty a salisbury steak.
Saints preserve us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


BLOOD, SEX, CARS and CHRISTY CLARK

As the Province newspaper is about blood, sex, cars, sports, it is not where one looks for balanced news reporting, usually. But the only newspaper that makes its way into the isolated gates of Alouette Prison for Women where I am presently residing, is, you guessed it, the Province. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!
But wait, there is after all the amusement factor. For instance, it's fun to watch Christy Clark morph into a friend of all women (her editorial on the need for quotas in order to get woment into politics) and children (her sudden realization that working women need daycare from one of an elitist proponent of two tiered schools and health care systems), but her latest morph into an environmental champion (April 8th) is quite stunning.
Will Miss Clark now actually advise Mr. Campbell that he must change his thinking on climate change? That by removing the last of the safeguards that facilitates the destruction of the last of our old growth forest, he is accelerating climate change? That by destroying the forests he is also destroying our most valuable carbon sinks? That his plans for coal fired plants will increase carbon emissions?
Surely Christy Clark will point out to our Premier that his "Greenest Games Ever" slogan is a cruel joke that killed the life support systems of Eagleridge Bluffs along with courageous Squamish elder Harriet Nahanee. Yes, I will sleep more soundly in my cell tonight, knowing Christy Clark has stepped up to the environmental preservation plate, and that her New Consciousness will be showcased by the Province for the next election.
Betty Krawczyk

Saturday, March 31, 2007

BC Courts: Mushy Sentences Reserved for Financial Elite


Sitting in Alouette Prison for Women, on a 10 month contempt of court sentence, am I surprised when associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm gave Gordon Campbell's in-law a walk on serious fraud charge?
Not at all.
I've been before Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm myself. Curt, rude, dripping contempt for a citizen's claim to the right to protect public forests, and granting legal rights only to the financial powerful, I know Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm.
Remember the raids on the Legislature? And the abrupt resignations of 3 of Campbell's most powerful cabinet ministers afterward?
Mr. Justice Patrick Dohm is still sitting on all the information surrounding that raid and the cabinet ministers involved.
His main job is obviously to protect the wrong-doing of the powerful. I think we must all face the fact that we have a corrupt justice system in BC.
How else to explain the mushy sentences handed down to the financial elite and crimes against persons. Our courts absorb these crimes effortlessly.
It's when a citizen raises their hands against corporate interests that those hands will be immediately amputated.
What to do about a corrupt judicial system?
Let's think about it. Many heads are better than a few, especially if one is a political prisoner.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Greetings from

Alouette Correctional Center for Women
Box 1000,
Maple Ridge, BC,
V2X 3K4

You can write to Betty at the address given above.
To arrange a visit, call (604) 476.2660 Fridays 10-12 AM

Back in the good ole' days at Burnaby's Correctional Centre for Women, before the Campbell government closed it to save money, there was an honest effort to rehabilitate women offenders. Even though a dichotomy existed then, between punishing women offenders and trying to rehabilitate them.
Gordon Campbell solved this dilemma in a shocking way. Gordon Campbell is about turning public money into private money and decided there were private money profits to be reaped from prison services to women offenders at taxpayers' expense of course! Further, to take full advantage of public money in order to feed the private sector, the prisoner's pay was cut.
Most women here now make between $2.50 and $3.00 A DAY and are charged exorbitant prices for everything. e.g. local phone calls. At a phone booth local calls cost a quarter. From behind these gates a local phone call from Alouette costs 90 cents. Why?
I wish the Solicitor General of BC, the Honourable John Les, who is in charge of BC prisons, would explain, and maybe caring citizens on the outside could ask him.

Listen to "Betty song" by Edith Wallace, accompanied by Michael Creber on piano.
It stole the hearts of the audience during the "Standing up for Nature" Benefit Concert.
To visit Betty:
First, you must be on the visitor's list with your date of birth, address, and phone number, sent to the address given above.
Visiting hours are Sunday 1:00 - 3:00 pm.
To book a visit call (604) 476.2660 Friday morning 10-12:00
Arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to check all your belongings: bag, wallet, keys, etc. in a locker before you enter.
You must have 2 pieces of ID (no photocopies):
One must be driver license, passport, citizenship certificate, or status card, and the other a secondary item, like a carecard, social insurance card, birth certificate.

Driving Directions:
Take Highway 1 east to Exit 44 United Blvd.
Follow 7B East to Mary Hill Bypass and drive about 6km
Turn RIGHT at Lougheed Highway 7 and drive about 10 km
Turn LEFT at 227th St, and drive a few blocks
Turn RIGHT at Dewdney Trunk Road and drive several km
Turn LEFT at 248th St. Follow 248th to next stop sign.
Turn Right, Right again, and follow road to the end.
Public Transit:
Take the West Coast Express (Waterfront) to Port Haney.
Allouette Correctional Center is about $10 taxi trip from the station.

Cash for Betty:
Betty needs cash for making phone calls $.90 per local call, and extra supplies like canned salmon purchased at the store to supplement the poor diet provided in jail.

If you wish to deposit cash into Betty's account, you can make a deposit to her account prior to a Sunday visit, or drop it off in person weekdays between 8:30 am - 3 pm.
You can mail a money order made out to Betty Krawczyk at the mailing address.

For more information contact
Monika Sheardown
monika@greendreams.com
(604) 733.4884

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The air outside is pure and sweet


AND FREE !

Everything else here is bitter and costly which happens when prison services are privatized. Gordon Campbell contracts out prison labour to private companies. There is a private lumber mill here using prison labour as well as a food service company, making profit from skimping on prisoner's
meals. More details later. Right now my thoughts are still lingering over Harriet Nahanee's death.
Harriet and I, both great-grandmothers, knew why we were at Eagleridge. Harriet was protesting the negotiating away of unceded Squamish land by the band's chief and council. I was protesting the needless destruction of an irreplaceable eco-system by my own chief and council: Gordon Campbell in Cabinet and Wally Oppal, but Harriet's struggle was multi-faceted.
Harriet's struggle was not only with her own chiefs but with my chiefs too: with the West Vancouver police, with Kiewitt & Sons, with arrest by injunctions, with a history of residential school barbarism. And finally, with the racism of Madam Justice Brown's court that refused to allow Harriet to even read the proclamation of 1763 as defense, and instead sent Harriet to Surrey Pre-trial.
May the Grandmothers and Grandfathers take good care of Harriet Nahanee and treat her tenderly.
Betty Krawczyk
Dictated from Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge, BC.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This account of the events at Betty's sentencing by Ingmar Lee appeared on Counterpunch on March 12th 2007

I arrived at 800 Smithe St, Vancouver, -the Supreme Court of BC at the designated hour of 8am on Monday, March 6th/2007. I was there to support the redoubtable Betty Krawczyk, the 78-year-old, ancient forest protection activist as she was sentenced to jail, once again, for standing firm against the wanton destruction of rare, ancient forest ecosystems. I didn't see any other treehuggers around at first, but in preparation for the events ahead, I took a few pictures of the entrance to the hallowed halls of British Columbia justice. Immediately I pulled out my camera, and a Sheriff came charging out of the building and told me that if I was intending on coming in, I would have to check it in at the front desk. Having crashed at a friends place the previous night, I had a small suitcase with me and a satchel containing some blankets, random bicycle tools, books etc. which would also have to be checked in. By 8:30 am, a crowd had begun to shape up which became identifiable as supporters of Betty. Soon there were about 50 of us. At that point someone came out and said that Betty would be arriving at the other end of the courthouse, so we should walk to the other end of the block, which we did. When we arrived at the other end, we encountered a much larger crowd which had assembled there. There were a lot of cameras and a large media presence and a good deal of excitement as the crowd anticipated the arrival of Betty. She then pulled up in a taxi and strode up the stairs to give her last interview to the media. As she was speaking, someone came by who warned me that everyone who wished to be in the courtroom was being searched, so we'd better get in the queue. Things were happening pretty fast. I got into the queue just ahead of Adriane Carr, Paul George and Joy Foy, (-the only three of BC's prominent environmentalists who bothered to attend) and as we stood in line to get searched, I saw Betty walk by, alone and totally focussed, heading into the courtroom through the same entrance as us. She passed ahead of the crowd, and then disappeared down the steps into the "Bunker" courtroom, which was specially built in the basement of the building for the Air India terrorist trials. Security was taking its time, but somehow, there was an expectation that in spite of the strict security requirement, that the trial would at least wait for Betty's supporters to get searched and then to fill the courtroom. The three security guards were labouriously searching through peoples pockets, confiscating certain items which could not be allowed in the court, ie: machine-guns, knives, cameras, food, cream pies or tape-recorders. Luckily, the search wasn't quite as comprehensive as expected (they didn't find the pot which I had stupidly forgotten about in my pocket) and after turning over my suitcase to the protection of the court, I was allowed to descend into the Bunker. As soon as I got in, I saw that about 40 people had preceded me, and the gallery was about 30% full. I saw a woman speaking from the front of the room and I could see Betty sitting there all alone below. As I took my front-row seat, I realized that this was "Madame Justice" Brown herself already at work, reading out her sentence. They had already begun, but most of the courtroom was still empty, while the queue crawled slowly through the extremely zealous security. Actually, I must have been one of the last who got in, -Adriane, Paul and Joe didn't make it. Brown's statement was a damnable, rotten piece of work, shockingly rude and nasty, and blatantly vindictive towards Betty. I have been endeavouring to get a transcript, as this sentence-statement by the Judge so amply clarifies the depths to which the quality and integrity of our legal system has plummeted. Brown is clearly furious with, and despises Betty, perhaps moreso since it's become clear that she intentionally sentenced Harriet Nahanie to death, a hideous aspect of this sorry saga which Betty has been emphasizing. Brown's statement, and whatever she said at Harriet's sentencing epitomizes just how shameless, grovelling, evil and corrupt our legal system really is. Anyone who knows Betty Krawczyk, anyone who has met her, for anyone who has ever given her the time of day knows that Betty is no criminal. Betty is a gentle, ferocious pacifist, feminist mentor, an icon of determination, courage, honesty and human decency, a tireless and relentless activist for the protection of our planet. In short, Betty is a hero, and she is one who fame and reputation as such is increasing by the day. I was utterly disgusted in that courtroom and I joined into the chorus of jeers that rang out as soon as the cowardly Judge read out her sentence. "I sentence you to 10 months" she said, and then repeated it. It was a petulant slap in the face from a pompous, remorseless bureaucrat who had just three weeks ago issued a death sentence to another Eagleridge Bluffs activist, the 71-year-old Pacheena Elder, Harriet Nahanie for "disrespecting the court." Brown sentenced Ms.Nahanie to 14 days in the Surrey Pre-Trial Remand Centre, and was warned explicitly that Harriet was in a very frail state of health. After serving 9 days, Ms. Nahanni was removed from the "Hell Hole" and rushed to hospital, where she died a few days later. Now Betty, a 78 year-old great-grandmother languishes in exactly the same "Hell Hole." It's not as though there was no precedent by which the corporate-lackey Brown-noser Brown could have used discretion in dealing with Betty, Harriet, or any of the Eagleridge Heights protesters. She had the power to simply refuse to grant the American developer Kiewit their injunction and insist that the authorities arrest Betty using the existing legal framework. Several years ago the late Judge Quijano refused to issue the Gordon Campbell government a court injunction to remove protesters from their proposed 150-slot Winnebozo parking lot at Cathedral Grove. The Judge remarked that should the government wish to remove the protesters, it had all the means available to do so using existing laws. This is exactly what Betty is after, -she want to be treated just like any other criminal by getting arrested and then making her case before the court. She simply wants a fair trial. That she cant get one makes it clear just how vulnerable the government is when it comes to going to court over its forest policies. Their problem is that when protesters are arrested under the existing framework of the law, they get to make their case before a judge and a jury, whereas there is no possible court challenge for those who defy a court injunction. The Campbell government was not able to get its court injunction at Cathedral Grove so the blockade remained in place, in spite its bellicose and belligerent embarrassment for them for two years, -until they capitulated and gave up on their parking lot. The government was stymied because its logging policies are indefensible and cannot stand up to any kind of court challenge. Once Betty had been sentenced and had left the courtroom, we climbed the stairs out of the Bunker, gathered up our belongings from the security and emerged to find the other 100 supporters who had been barred entry to the courtroom angrily describing their experience to the cameras. People were very angry and upset and there were a lot of tears. There were sustained, powerful 10-minute continuous Shame! Shame, Shame!!! chanting sessions which filled the whole courthouse right up to its soaring glass ceilings. And a large contingent of First Nations women struck up their drums and sang a very beautiful dirge which went on and on, and got everyone singing. After about an hour, it seemed like things were wrapping up, but when Jeremy Williams got up on a wall and suggested that we should stage an impromptu march around the court building, everyone joined in. But when we got around to the opposite side, everyone suddenly turned spontaneously and filed strait into the doors at 800 Smithe. We all marched right into the building and when the Sheriffs set up a cordon at the secondary doors into the inner sanctum, 18 of us sat down and blocked the doors. About 60 people milled around the rotunda. They were only allowing lawyers through the cordon, but as it turned out later, we shut down the Supreme Court of BC for 3 hours. All the media was crowding the windows as cameras are not permitted in the building. Eventually, a Sheriff came rushing down and announced that he was serving us with a court injunction, and that we had 60 seconds to get out of the way. At this time a dozen RCMP officers arrived to make the arrests. At this point, having seen the direct consequences of defying a court injunction, most of us got up and moved, but it turns out that 2 people did get arrested. We didn't have to move far though, because Cameron Ward interpreted the injunction as specifying that while the protesters could not block access to the court or interfere with the process of justice, that didn't preclude milling around and loitering in the lobby. Treehuggers loitering can be pretty annoying, apparently. Gradually, over a period of another 45 minutes, the Police moved up their cordon and pushed us out of the building. Then the demonstration continued for another hour outside the door, and during this time the Police refused entry to everyone, including the lawyers. We chanted and the First Nations drummers sang and danced. This spontaneous demonstration kept getting new life breathed into it and every time I got ready to leave, something else happened. For the final event, I was watching as a taxi pulled up and saw the media rush over. Suddenly Wally Oppal himself, -Betty's nemesis, emerged from the car and the media immediately swarmed him, eager to hear about his prostate issue. He obviously does not have a clue about the internationally-recognized case of Betty Krawczyk, and the ill-repute her treatment has brought down on the BC legal system. Immediately the Oppal was recognized, sustained shouts of Shame! Shame drowned him out and finally drove him back into his taxi and he was taken away. Here are a few words from Betty's blog regarding Oppal: "...Recently Mr. Wally Opal on CKNW said that anybody in BC facing prison time could have a jury trial. But when I called into the program and advised Mr. Opal that I was facing prison time on a Criminal Contempt of Court charge and wasn't allowed a jury trial he said well, in my case the judge was quite right not to allow me a jury trial; as I was arrested under civil contempt and that civil contempt did not warrant a jury trial. And yet here I am, once again convicted of Contempt of Court, not Civil, but Criminal, minus a jury trial, or the protections of the Criminal Code. My Lady, the very expediency of this method of depriving citizens of their lawful rights when they seek to protect the environment from corporate predators is quite remarkable. I protest this, My Lady, and will protest it with my dying breath..." I encourage people to take the opportunity to visit Betty. If you have got any faith at all that justice is possible in British Columbia, or that environmental issues can be forwarded through due process through our institutionally corrupt government and legal mechanisms, then you need to see the reality of our deeply rotten system. You'll get that direct experience and see for yourself by visiting dear Betty in jail.