BETTY'S EARLY EDITION - Connecting the environment to everything in the age of disconnection.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
And as long as injunctions are used by the courts of this province to protect logging and construction companies there is no equality under the law. Take what is before the courts at the moment over my involvement at Eagleridge Bluffs. The contractors, Kiewit and Sons and Sea to Sky Highway who are building the four lane highway across the center of the Bluffs have refused to lay charges against me. Why? After all, I was interfering with their work and by extension, their profits, while they are blasting the Bluffs to bits to facilitate Gordon Campbell’s greenest Olympics ever. And Kiewit and Sea to Sky are the ones who applied for a court injunction to stop anybody from interfering with their work; they are the ones who complain, the ones who call the police. Wouldn’t you think they would be the ones to bring forth a charge against me, at least for my second and third arrests at Eagleridge Bluffs? Oh, no.
Not these clever Americans. Kiewit is a US company with a very bad environmental record in the States. Just the kind of company Gordon Campbell loves; American, non-union. But they don’t sue me themselves for interfering with their destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs. Oh, no. They get our BC attorney general to lay charges against me.
And so BC Crown steps in and lays charge against me so Kiewit can go on unencumbered with their destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs knowing the attorney General of BC is taking care of the problem of pesky BC citizens who try to interfere. And also knowing that as the crown takes over the trial BC taxpayers will pick up that tab and Canadians arrested under Kiewit’s injunction will be charged with contempt of court for which there is no defense and that injunctions are a kind of terrorist weapon that is used effectively against Canadian citizens by their own provincial government. Oh, yes, being an American company working in British Columbia is indeed a wonderful thing!
Come watch your tax dollar at work favoring American companies who just love our BC court system because it protects them against any hint of Canadian sovereignty. My next court appearance (I am representing myself) is:
July 6, 2006. 10:00 AM. 800 Smyth. Supreme Court building. Check at the desk for room number. Come support me and bring some Canadian sovereignty with you. A whiff or two of Canadian sovereignty might remind the attorney general and even the premier that they are servants of the people. Canadian people, that is.
See you in court. Betty Krawczyk
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Betty Kidnapped by the Court!
Betty Kidnapped by the Court!
She couldn't leave.
Even though Madam Justice Brown said in the
Supreme Court the morning of June 21, that there
were no charges against Betty except the
ubiquitous Rule 56 that makes the judge the
prosecutor, jailer, judge and jury, and even when
the judge announced that all twenty-three
arrestees were freed from having signed the
promise not to go back to the Eagleridge Bluffs,
Madam Justice Brown still called on the
considerable physical might of the court guards
to keep Betty in the courtroom. Why? Well, what
if some of the other accused walked out of the
courtroom with Betty? How would that look?
Would the court come under disrepute if people
simply walked out?
Of course it would. No judge can tolerate
the loss of control in the courtroom. But Betty
contends that the disrepute of the courts is not
caused by her actions, but by the courts
themselves. And the Attorney General of BC. The
courts bend over backward to protect what they
perceive as private property gain against the
loss of public rights, of the loss of public
commons. And the courts do this by the use of a
ruling called "Strategic Legislation against
Public Participation", or Slapp Suits as they are
The courts give out these Slapp Suits in BC
with hardly an afterthought, which then turn into
injunctions against protests which turn into
charges of contempt of court for those more
determined citizens. And these charges of
contempt of court literally deprive citizens of
any defense, a process which can only be
described as a loss of the right to a fair trial
which is supposed to be guaranteed under the
So the confusion in the court on Wednesday
when all 23 of the Eagleridge Bluffs accused were
up for review was symptomatic, as Betty told the
judge who told Betty in reply to sit down, of the
confusion and abuse of process that reigns under
this kind of mass arrest. And at least the
judge seemed somewhat worried herself about the
process. She must have been, or Madam Justice
Brown wouldn't have been offering laurel branches
and turtle doves to the rest of the accused (who
like Betty were being held by the court without
charge from complainants) in the form of court
absolution in return for sincerely written
apologies to the court.
However, by the end of the court day the
Crown did manage to screw up the courage to
charge Betty with criminal contempt of court.
But just because the charge is called criminal
contempt doesn't mean Betty will have any legal
protections under the criminal code. The
criminal code does offer many protections to
accused citizens and one of the major protections
is that the judge has to consider the accuseds
reasons for the crime. The charge of contempt of
court, even criminal contempt of court, offers no
protections at all. because it is not covered
under the criminal code. This is, of course, why
it is so easy for logging and construction
companies, cops and judges to use injunctions.
The judge doesn't care why the accused did what
he or she did. And Betty is adamant that when
the charge of contempt of court is used as a
means of silencing protesters and depriving
citizens of their rights to a fair trial then it
offers nothing but contempt for the democratic
process. More to come.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
But she didn’t get any. Justice that is. All because of a rule called Rule 56.
While Eagleridge Bluffs is being blown to bits Madam Justice Brown of BC Supreme Court has rolled three different legal roles in Betty’s life into one; the judge is currently acting as Betty’s judge, jailer, and prosecutor. How did Madam Justice Brown get to act all three of these parts in Betty’s case? By something called Rule 56.
Rule 56 says in effect that in absence of a charge or charges by a complainant, then a judge can bring forth a charge (sort of) that will bind the alleged accused (that’s Betty) to all of the same conditions as if there were actual charges laid by complainants (in this case Kiewit and Sons, an American firm who is doing the actual blasting of Eagleridge Bluffs and Sea to Sky Highway or even the Crown). Now isn’t this lovely?
None of the above complainants will, as yet, bring charges against Betty. And the West Van City Police won’t send materials to anybody. They won’t even give Betty back her tent. So all of the complainants have shifted the responsibility for chastising Betty for blockading on the Bluffs to the judge without their having to do any of the dirty work of stepping forward with actual charges. Is this a travesty of justice?
The corporations and levels of government who want Betty charged and jailed should at least have the guts to step up and do it themselves But they haven’t. So what to do? Convince the judge by their own inaction that she should evoke Rule 56.
Rule 56 holds Betty without formal charge by any complainant as though there were charges. Is this the same rule courts can hold suspected terrorists indefinitely by? Has Betty reached the pinnacles of criminality by being treated as a terrorist? This petit, 77 year old great grandmother?
Betty says she will not sign a promise not to return to Eagleridge Bluffs when it is presented to her again as she has given up all hope of being charged and tried fairly by the court she is under. She says she had rather be in jail. Stay tuned.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
First Nations Elder Harriet Nahanee enters Eagleridge Bluffs to Mourn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
First nations' elder Harriet Nahanee enters Eagleridge Bluffs to mourn
Sunday June 04, 2006 - First Nations' elder Harriet Nahanee entered the Eagleridge Bluffs no-go zone today at 2:00 P.M., accompanied by environmental activist Betty Krawczyk.
Harriet Nahanee sung the Patcheeda death songs for the Bluffs, Arbutus trees, topsoils, living species, and all living things destroyed by American construction company Kiewit.
The two women mourned together inside the injunction zone for about twenty minutes, as three West Vancouver Police officers monitored the situation from a distance.
Neither woman was arrested today. Harriet was already arrested once at the Bluffs last week and Betty twice.
Harriet is originally from the Patcheeda people on Vancouver Island, although she now lives on the Squamish reserve with her children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Squamish descent.
We mourn with Harriet and pledge to continue the struggle to save the Bluffs in the face of blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Campbell government to produce the "greenest games ever".