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.
Betty Krawczyk

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