Heading South, that’s where BC rivers are heading, straight into the arms of both US and Canadian corporate control. And gleefully riding the US bound river rapids sits our BC premier who never met a crooked privatizing scheme he didn’t like. And, I might add, riding the crest of his waves not far behind is one of his relatively newly recruited but prized enablers of BC public give-aways: the much admired and prominent environmentalist Tzeporah Berman.
And she’s on record. Ms Berman has publicly stated she thinks the privatizing of BC rivers through the Run of the River projects is a good idea. Why would this poster child for the Clayoquot Sound blockades lend her name and prestige to such a vicious thing as signing off our public river power to private control? In frustration I tuned to an old issue of DOGWOOD INITIATIVE (2002) to an article by Denise Deegan (written for corporations) called MANAGING ACTIVISM; A GUIDE TO DEALING WITH ACTIVISTS AND PRESSURE GROUPS and we are told the following:
“First identify the “radicals” who are unwilling to compromise and who are demanding fundamental changes. Then, identify the “realists”-typically organizations with significant budgets and staff working in the same relative area of public concern as the radicals. Then approach these “realists,” start a dialogue and eventually cut a deal, a “win,win” solution that marginalizes and excludes the radicals and their demands. Next go with the realists to the “idealists” who have learned about the problem through the work of the radicals. Convince the idealists that a “win-win” solution endorsed by the realists is best for the community as a whole. Once this has been accomplished, the “radicals” can be shut out as extremist, the PR fix is in, and the deal can be touted in the media to make the corporation and its “moderate” non-profit partners look heroic for solving the problem”.
And this strategy has worked. In these past years most of us “radicals” have been shut out as the “realists” and the “idealists” have made questionable, supposed “win, win” deals with the Gordon Campbell government and corporations. Only the problems haven’t been solved and there are now serious splits in what little environmental activism there was out there. However, I remain optimistic and believe these splits could be setting the stage for a real environmental movement…one that engages not just a lofty few who think themselves special and rather intellectually superior but masses of people, many who haven’t the faintest idea how bio systems actually work but know that they do work and desperately want them to keep on working. So we’ll see. Betty Krawczyk