Saturday, February 24, 2007

Indians and Us! Whites and Us! New inter-tribal group forming! Those of us interested in justice for all and for the earth must hang together. The brave eco warrior Harriet Nahanee from the Squamish Reserve is fighting for her life in St. Paul's Hospital after a nine day stint in that hell hole of a holding centre Surrey pre-trial. Stay tuned for more information on our new inter-tribal search for justice. Betty Krawczyk

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dear Friends and Gentle People,

This prayer march is called to honour Mrs. Harriet Nahanee. Harriet is a 71 year old Indian (she insists on being called Indian) from the Squamish Reserve who joined the Eagleridge Bluffs Protest to try to help save what she considered the needless destruction of Squamish Land. Harriet was arrested along with 24 others and declared guilty of contempt of court on Jan. 24 and sentenced to 14 days in prison.

Harriet served 9 days in Surrey Pre-Trial which is a hell hole. Nobody should be sent there, especially a 71 year old residential school survivor woman with underlying health problems. Harriet’s judge, Madam Justice Brown was advised in a letter before sentencing, of Harriet’s health problems sent to her by Harriet’s co-accused, Betty Krawczyk. Madam Justice Brown chose to ignore the contents of Betty’s letter and sentenced Harriet Nahanee to 14 days in jail anyway. While there Harriet contacted pneumonia and is now in St. James hospital fighting for her life. We want to honour this brave great grandmother who has fallen fighting for the right of her family, both immediate and extended, which includes all of us, to save the eco-systems that sustain life. Walk along with us.

Feb.23, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Betty's final submissions to Madam Justice Brown (Feb. 19) on sentencing:

Madam Justice Brown
The Supreme Court of BC Feb. 19, 2007

My Lady,
At the end of the reading of your judgment convicting me of Criminal Contempt of Court, Your Ladyship and Mr. Brundrett for Crown Counsel, both advised me to seek legal advice, in other words, to get a lawyer. You can see I haven’t done that, for two reasons. One, I think citizens should be able to access the court system without expensive lawyers. After all, citizens pay for the courts. And pay the people who run and work in the courts. And yet, when accused of a crime, fairly or unfairly, where a large corporation or the government is involved, a citizen must find buckets of money to try to actually participate in a trial in BC on an equal footing with corporate or Crown lawyers.

The quest for justice in BC is not cheap. Not when a citizen is up against large corporations and government bodies such as Kietwit and Sons and Gordon Campbell, through the Minister of Transportation of BC, who are locked into an Olympic studded public, private partnership venture that really means the public pays for the private profit of developers. There is a lot of money at stake in these kinds of developments. And as corporations and governments have the required buckets of money, most of it taxpayer’s money and can hire the most experienced lawyers they will, of course, get the most justice.

And yet in spite of lots of evidence that justice in British Columbia is actually for sale when one is up against corporate might, the thought is so depressing to me that when I am in handcuffs and leg irons, yes, leg irons…and I’m sitting on a metal bench in a police crummy on the long haul back to the Women’s prison at Maple Ridge I try to tell myself, no, Betty…justice can’t actually be for sale in British Columbia. It just seems that way. It just looks that way. It just feels that way. But why does it seem, look, and feel that way to so many other people?

And if you will remember, My Lady, I did have a lawyer when this trial started because Your Ladyship kept insisting I get one. But because Your Ladyship would not allow my lawyer, Cameron Ward, to argue the very rulings that I was arrested by, issues that speak to why I am even now standing before this court, my lawyer quit the case saying that he would not lend legitimacy to this trial by his presence because the trial was so unfair.

Mr. Ward and I talked about this before he actually quit my case. My first impulse was to leave myself when he did, just to walk away from the trial and go straight to prison because I have felt that I, too, have lent legitimacy to this trial by staying and going through the motions as though I believed the trial would be fair when I actually believed the opposite, because the charges are inherently unfair. But I have gone through with the defense part of this trial for one reason…to try to bring other people, those that might be interested, along with me.

And I tell people how Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation, better know as SLAPP suits, are the first steps to getting injunctions. And I ask them to consider that name for a moment. Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation. That’s what these lawsuits are called, law suits to keep citizens from participating in public life by direct legal intimidation. And then I go on to explain that when corporations are annoyed with citizens refusal to just hand over some beloved eco system, the corporations don’t ask the police to arrest the people who are bothering them, instead they ask the judges of British Columbia to do it.

And I go on to explain how the courts oblige these requests by turning SLAPP suits into injunctions, and that so far only a handful of judges have questioned this practice. And then I will continue to advise people that of course breaking an injunction by refusing to move when ordered to will lead to contempt of court charges, Rule 56 , civil v criminal contempt of court, questions arising concerning why don’t the police just arrest protesters who are blocking a road instead of waiting for weeks, months, for the judge to do it by injunction, why didn’t Kietwit and Sons ask the court to issue a Mandamus order to make the police arrest if they didn’t want to, why didn’t the Attorney General use Mandamus, how does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms fit into the equation and why when a citizen is arrested under an injunction they cannot in court argue the rightness or wrongness of the use of the injunctions because there is a rule forbidding arguing against injunctions once one is arrested under one.

And these questions have certainly not been answered by my trial and conviction. They’re still hanging out there and are still here in this courtroom as I stand before you this afternoon.

But legal jargon makes these questions difficult to understand by the public, including reporters. Which is why the use of injunctions by the courts is such a smashing success, why the police love injunctions because they don’t have to do anything until they’re told to by the court, why the attorney general loves injunctions because he doesn’t have to do anything even though he is the highest police officer in the land, so to speak, and why the premier also favors injunctions because he gets the results he wants without having to anything when a bitterly contested environmental dispute erupts because of his own mercenary policies. And the corporations, of course, absolutely love injunctions, laughing, as they do, all the way to the bank with largely taxpayer’s money that is being literally siphoned their way through these new public, private partnerships.

And the actions of mine, My Lady that you define as depreciating the authority of the court I define as trying to direct citizens attention toward the reality of how BC courts actually work…how BC courts have facilitated the deforestation of British Columbia by the use of injunctions to stifle citizen protest. People have a right to know about injunctions, how they work in environmental disputes, who they benefit, how injunctions keep citizens from protecting what is rightfully theirs, the public forests, the smaller eco systems like Eagleridge Bluffs, and the streams and waterways of this province.

People have a right to know when courts themselves fracture the law by doing an end run around the criminal code and the Constitution by using an archaic ruling, that of contempt of court, the only ruling that results in imprisonment that is not encoded in the criminal code, to punish citizens who dare to seriously challenge corporate might. I don’t need legal advice to know right from wrong, my Lady, or to know when I am being politically prosecuted as I have been by this court and by Mr. Brundrett and by the Attorney General.

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.

And I take issue with Your Ladyships’ contentions that this trial and the other Eagleridge trials were like any other trials, in that the participants could simply be divided into winners and losers. No, My Lady. The difference between this trial along with the other environmental trials and say a corporate scandal trial, or a murder trial, is that there are no winners here. Even the winners are losers. We are all losers. We all have to live on this planet, a planet whose life forms have taken millions of years to evolve but now are in an accelerated process of being cut down, burned out, dug out, or hacked to death for profit, or are in the process of decomposing due to climate change, a change brought about by a corporate mentality that respects nothing but money.

And this decomposing is bringing human diseases, old as well as new diseases, and I would just refer to an article in the Globe and Mail of Feb 10, 2007 about a serious new fungi disease occurring on Vancouver Island and that is now spreading into the city of Vancouver, a disease brought about by deforestation and climate change.

And the cancer epidemic is raging unabated, including the rise in reproductive cancers in young people, the rapid drop in human male sperm count is continuing along with the changing structure of the chromosomes in human sperm. But there is one human health issue that to me and an increasing number of people is so overwhelming that it is painful to even think about… and that is that human breast milk has become the very most polluted human food on this increasingly chemically polluted earth. This is a staggering thought…that the very source of life for infants…a source of life that has been perfected by millions of years of evolution is now the most chemically polluted food on earth. What does that mean for future generations? We should all be screaming in the streets.

That Mr. Campbell has recently announced curbs on greenhouse gases is testimony to one thing…that even Mr. Campbell understands he must make some gesture to the growing public demand for environmental protection, but he will, I feel sure, continue on his road to environmental degradation because of his commitment to turning everything public into private. The public forests that are being logged out under Mr. Campbell’s tenure are in watersheds that will dry out once cut, endangered species like the Spotted Owl and other creatures that only live in old growth will disappear altogether, but even the Arbutus forests destroyed at Eagleridge Bluffs for the Greenest Games Ever, as Mr. Campbell touted, were big enough to act as carbon sinks, the wetlands there wide enough to act as filters, cleaning water and air and preserving red listed species.

My lady, it wasn’t brought to your attention, but I went another time to Eagleridge Bluffs Parking Lot after the injunction just before my third arrest. It was on June 4, 2006. Mrs. Nahanee, the other elder arrested and charged by this court called me on the evening of June 3rd and said she had to go to the Bluffs to say prayers for the dead and dying creatures in the Bluffs due to the logging and blasting up there.

I argued with her about going because I was afraid she would be arrested again and Mrs. Nahanee has severe asthma and a heart condition but she said no, she was determined to go, it was part of her Pacheenacht heritage and that she was obligated to go. I continued to argue with her and then she started talking about the red legged frogs and told me there were red legged frogs in the Bluffs wetlands and she especially had to say prayers for the red legged frogs.

When I asked her why especially the frogs she said that red legged frogs only live in wet lands and they signify life because that’s where we all came from, the wetlands, and so the red legged frogs also signify life to humans, and that in the Pacheenacht belief when the last red legged frog dies all of humanity will also die.

I immediately thought of New Orleans. I’m from that part of the country. I was raised outside Baton Rouge, not far from New Orleans. In those days all of southern Louisiana was bound by wetlands, wetlands literally teeming with life. Sometimes the sky would be black with migrating birds and the fish so numerous there were times when you would almost have to knock the fish out of the way with the poles used to push the little boats that were called peroes through the shallow waterways of the bayous.

But after the Cypress groves were logged and the oak forests cut down and the marshes and bayous were drained and filled in and eventually when only oil rigs and gambling casinos dotted the shoreline of Louisiana instead of marshes and shell fish and pelicans and wild rice and alligators further back in the bayous’ and only then when all of the natural eco systems had been destroyed that served as brakes on storm patterns could something like the New Orleans floods occur after a hurricane. The flooding that brought death and destruction to a famous historical city that will never recover.

And so, remembering New Orleans, I said okay, Harriet, I won’t try to talk you out of going to say the prayers for the dead at Eagleridge anymore. But wait for me. I’m coming with you. So the next day we went into the parking lot at Eagleridge and the police were there, made very nervous by our sudden appearance, but they didn’t try to stop us, but followed as we walked further into the parking lot. And when Mrs. Nahanee stopped and sang the death songs and said prayers the police stood on each side of us but they didn’t try to interrupt.

My Lady, before Mrs. Nahanee was tried by this court I sent Your Ladyship a letter explaining that I was worried about Mrs. Nahanee because she wasn’t well that she had chronic asthma and was left weakened from the flue. But Your Ladyship sentenced Mrs. Nahanee to 14 days at Surrey Pre Trial which is a hell hole, and now Mrs. Nahanee is in hospital with lung infections admitted not even a week after her release from Surrey Pre Trial.

My Lady, in a very real sense this trial is not about me. It’s about an awakening human consciousness, a consciousness that wants to do things differently, that wants to be healthy, and that wants a healthy planet. But we have to fight for that because there is so much money to be made in destroying the natural life support systems of this earth. We have to struggle against our own individual participation in this process but I am confident we can do that and I am made confident by the support I receive from others. I want to read a few lines from some of the many letters of support I have received…

These letters are very kind and I love them, and there are more but there isn’t time. However, some of the letters mention alternatives to going to prison and while I appreciate their concern I would like to speak to this issue before you sentence me.

I won’t do community service should that be part of my sentence. I have done community service all of my life and I have done it for love. I refuse to have community service imposed on me as a punishment. And I won’t pay a fine or allow anyone else to pay a fine for me. I won’t accept any part of electronic monitoring as I would consider that an enforced internalization of a guilt I don’t feel and don’t accept and I refuse to internalize this court’s opinion of me by policing myself. As for apologizing to the court I will not do so except for this personal aside…

My Lady, I come from a backwoods country culture that placed a high value on courtesy and hospitality. I know I have been discourteous to Your Ladyship in this courtroom at times and it grieves me to be in such a contentious situation with another woman. But while the entire court system pretends to be free of sexism it is one of the most sexist places a citizen can find herself in and I object to the sexist language of the court and I object to the general disregard for what has historically been described as women’s values in BC courts regardless of whether the judge is male or female.

But I cannot apologize to this court, even had my trial held some semblances of fairness because it is part of a larger BC court legacy that always sides with the logging, mining, and construction corporations against citizens, corporations who are responsible for the massive deforestation of this province and the massive spraying with Roundup and other chemicals after logging and replanting, chemicals that have cancer causing agents, ones that have polluted this entire province.

And this court is part of a continuing larger court legacy that refuses to change in the face of changing public opinion, BC courts are lagging light years behind the general public who sees the destruction brought by the courts protection of logging and endless highway building and is beginning to demand change in the way the courts think of the environment of BC, including priceless eco-systems like Eagleridge Bluffs. How can I apologize for trying to bring this to public attention, My Lady? Or for tying to change the judicial use of injunctions that allow these crimes to continue? I cannot. Ever. Do with me what you will. I am in your hands.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Below is the letter I wrote to Madam Justice Brown before she sentenced Harriet Nahanee to 14 days in Surrey Pre-Trial dentention center which is unabashed hell. Harriet is now fighting for her life in St. Paul's hospital. She developed pneumonia in Surrey Pre-Trial. I am extremely upset that Madam Justice Brown would do such a thing. Betty Krawczyk

Jan. 3, 2007

The Honourable Madam Justice Brown
The Supreme Court of British Columbia


I understand that writing to one’s judge is frowned upon, especially when one is writing about another accused, however, I am very worried about Mrs. Harriet Nahanee.

Mrs. Nahanee is not well. She has asthma and is suffering the after effects of a recent bout of flu that has left her very weak. Still, Mrs. Nahanee is also very stubborn and will insist on reading the Proclamation of 1763 when she appears next before Your Ladyship. The problem is she won’t be able to get through the entire thing without help but will insist on trying anyway. I would like to act as Intervenor for Mrs. Nahanee, to help her through the reading of the Proclamation, but also to bring forth two other issues she wants to bring to your attention:

Number one, Mrs. Nahanee is part of an action presently before the court (File No. S036483, Te Kiapilanoq (Capilano) v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia and the Attorney General of Canada) that concerns hereditary chiefs challenging the right of the elected chiefs of the Squamish Nation to negotiate away traditional Squamish Lands off the Squamish Reserve, lands that include Eagleridge Bluffs. This action potentially has serious ramifications for the entire band concerning who has the right to negotiate away traditional Squamish Indian lands. Mrs. Nahanee would also like to point to a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision (R.v. Marshall; R.v. Bernard) that seems to lend at least some support to Mrs. Nahanee’s claim that provincial laws can be superseded by federal laws concerning the Proclamation.

I am sure that Mrs. Nahanee would be very satisfied with simply some help in reading the Proclamation and then leaving the legal papers with Your Ladyship. Perhaps my assistance could take the form of acting as some sort of interpreter for Mrs. Nahanee as she hears my voice clearly (because it’s so loud, I suppose) while she said that the talk though the loud speaker came through garbled to her. Her presentation shouldn’t take that long. I am sincere in my desire to be of assistance to the Court in this matter, as well as assisting Mrs.Nahanee. If it is not possible for me to act as Intervenor (I understand Your Ladyship must approve) or some kind of interpreter then perhaps Your Ladyship might simply keep the above mentioned issues in mind when hearing Mrs. Nahanee’s case.

Very truly yours,

Betty Krawczyk

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gag Order for Betty?
Would the Crown ask for such a thing? With some kind of trumped up excuse like needing a gag order pending appeal to shut Betty up? Betty fears this may be a distinct possibility. And an equal possibility that Madam Justice Brown might grant such a request. But aren’t gag orders just supposed to be used to protect the publications of names of innocent victims? Yes and no. Gag orders can also be used as a weapon. They can be used simply to shut people up who are whistle blowers. Or people like Betty who are telling truths the government and the courts prefer not to have bandied about.
Betty points out that when she was in prison there was a lot of unusual difficulty around speaking to reporters. And that at the beginning of her trial the prosecution asked for a gag order on Betty so she couldn’t write or speak about the trial or prison. At that time Madam Justice Brown refused the request for a gag order. Would she again refuse pending appeal if Mr. Mike Brundrett asked for one? And could she legally do that?
Well, that’s the beauty of Criminal Contempt of Court charges. Because contempt charges are not encoded in law Mr. Brundrett can ask for whatever he pleases and Madam Justice Brown can give whatever she pleases. And they both seem to want Betty to just shut up. But if there is any kind of gag order imposed on Betty it begs the question…why is a little 78 year old lady so feared by the Crown? And if a gag order is granted by Madam Justice Brown, so feared by the court? Can it be that their combined efforts to protect Gordon Campbell’s right to destroy Eagleridge Bluffs and other public eco-systems is not quite so grounded in law as they claim? And others are beginning to realize this?
Monday will tell. Feb. 19, 2007. 2:00 in the afternoon. If a gag order is imposed only the people in the courtroom will know how it came down. Betty Krawczyk

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What kind of a criminal mind trumps the criminal minds of murderous Hell’s Angles and that of a grisly mass serial killer? Why, the criminal mind of great- grandmother Betty Krawczyk who stood in the way of the blasting of Eagleridge Bluffs, of course. At least that’s what the courts and the Crown seems to think. In what way, you may ask?
Well, the Hell’s Angles and Robert Pickton will actually get fair trials. They will have the protection of the Criminal Code of Canada which insists they have fair trials. But Betty Krawczyk has never had a fair trial because the Attorney General and the courts keeps putting her into a special category called contempt of court and denied the protections of the Criminal Code. In the contempt of court category there is no right to a jury trial, no right to argue the court ruling she was arrested under, and no right to bring character witnesses. The government, courts, and Attorney General of BC are more upset over a 78 years old grandmother challenging the right of corporations to squander and plunder the land than they are about the crimes of drug and prostitution lords, or about a man who killed dozens of women in the most gruesome ways, or the man who debauched dozens of young girls in his trusted role as teacher.
Oh, yes, the government and the courts seem to say, society can absorb these crimes. They are, after all, just crimes against people, mostly female people. But what Betty Krawczyk did was unspeakable. She challenged the might of corporations, along with dozens of others. So she must be stripped of the protections of the law afforded all other kinds of crimes, even the most heinous, and severely punished outside the protections of the criminal code. Betty will hear her sentencing on Thursday morning at 9:00 at the Criminal Court building. Rally at 8:30.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mens Rea
My Lady, in a paper by A. Pringle writing for the Canadian Encyclopedia entitled Constituents of a Crime, Mr. Pringle states on page three, para 2…

“Nevertheless, there is still an overriding principle in the criminal law that there is no criminal responsibility unless the guilty mind required by the offence can be proven. The idea of “Guilty mind required by the offence” has been refined in light of the Charter. For example, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that murder is so serious a crime that it would be fundamentally unjust to convict someone of murder who did not, at the time of the killing, have a murderous state of mind. The Court then struck down, as unconstitutional, those sections of the Criminal Code which permitted murder convictions where the intent to kill had not been proven.

Thus, the Charter has given rise to the principle that the mens rea to be proven must “fit” the crime. Most criminal trials are in fact contested on the basis of whether the accused had the requisite state of mind rather than whether he actually performed the prohibited act. This state of mind has to be proven with the same certainty as the other ingredients of a crime, and the prosecution must therefore present a clear picture of what was in the individual’s mind at the time the offence was committed.”

My Lady, I know what was in my mind at the time of my alleged offences and it wasn’t what the Crown said it was. My mens rea was, on all three of my Blockades at Eagleridge Bluffs, that I was there to bring attention to the needless and I believe, even the sacrilegious, wanton destruction of an irreplaceable eco system. And my mens rea of wanting desperately to help save Eagleridge Bluffs, and of peacefully tenting in the parking lot and talking to people who came by
does not fit with the mens rea the Crown claims I had when I set up my tent at Eagleridge Bluffs.

Was I tenting at Eagleridge to commit criminal contempt of court? Is that what I had in mind as the Crown claims? If you will recall, My Lady, the police didn’t come to arrest until several days after the injunction came down. Until the injunction came down I think even the Crown might agree that my presence at Eagleridge was one of calling attention to what I considered the egregious use of the Olympics by our provincial government to push through an up scale development scheme at taxpayers expense while destroying an incredible urban wild space that was teeming with wild life.

Until the injunction came down, almost any reasonable person would agree that my obvious mens rea for being at Eagleridge was to help call attention, to witness, to what I considered to be a government crime against nature. But then how is it that as soon as the injunction came down that my mens rea would shift so drastically from one of a civic minded great grandmother, one passionately involved with trying to help save what natural ecosystems are left that can be saved, suddenly possessed with a criminal mind as the Crown claims? Because I refused to move when the police told me to? Does it follow that my refusal to move when ordered that my mind had suddenly turned bad, that I had morphed into this notorious person the Crown refers to, one in the same category as a notorious gangster?

I think not, My Lady. Nothing had changed in my mens rea, my reasons for being there remained the same as before the injunction came down. The only mens rea that changed at this point was the mens rea of the Crown and the Office of the Attorney General. They are the ones who changed. Because at this point of my refusal to move the Crown and office of the Attorney General could now legally super impose their definition of my mens rea upon me. At this point they can legally accuse me of thinking like a criminal when my charges are turned over to the Crown as they always are. And the Crown, with a straight face, because it’s written in law…can now claim that my mens rea and his definition of my mens rea are somehow one and the same, only his is now super imposed over mine, in other words peaceful civil disobedience equals Criminal Contempt of Court.

But these two states of mind are not the same. They are very different from one another. Peaceful civil disobedience has been practiced historically by many different people in many different places without ever being accused of having the mens rea to commit criminal contempt of court, or even knowing what criminal contempt of court was. Civil disobedience, by calling attention to a law or set of laws or government actions of questionable legality or morality is not even in fact hostile to the law, because in western countries civil disobedience evolves into becoming part and parcel of the law. You can hardly find any ruling in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that wasn’t placed there directly or indirectly by civil disobedients.

Civil disobedience is the main vehicle which allows the law to evolve.

My Lady, I was born in 1928. Had I been born in Canada I would not have been considered a legal person. It took the combined agitation and civil disobedience of women in England, Canada, and the US to convince the somewhat more sober men of the English Privy Council to overturn the opinion of the more macho, less sober men of the Canadian Supreme Court and say in effect, …”oh, come on, guys. The ladies must be persons; I mean…gosh, they made us, doesn’t that make them persons?

And I contend, My Lady, that by interpreting the laws of British Columbia to equate the mens rea of peaceful civil disobedience with the mens rea of criminal contempt of court is to falsify my mind, my character, my concern for the environment, my concern for what I, as an elder, will be leaving behind for the young ones…it is indeed, to falsify my entire life.

And I contend that it is simply illogical to maintain that the mens rea for committing peaceful civil disobedience and the mens reas to commit criminal contempt of court are one and the same because there is a simple test for this…if the two mens reas are interchangeable, if they are the same, if this then would led us to the conclusion that when one commits peaceful civil disobedience one also commits criminal contempt of court. But My Lady, if this were absolutely true, then the reverse would also be true, if one committed criminal contempt of court then one would also be guilty of peaceful civil disobedience. And we know without even thinking deeply about it, that this is a foolish conclusion. There is no logic to this, My Lady.

As these two states of mind are very different and the fact that they are not treated differently lies with the fault of the law and the court’s interpretation and application of the law. There has been an unproblematic collapse of these two states of mind in legal rulings so that they have become synonymous. I protest this collapse under the Crown’s claims that I had criminial intent when I know I did not as this puts me in the same psychological position all Canadian women were in back in 1928 when women were legally non-persons. Anybody, man or woman, whose true intent is wrestled from them by an outside agency and an erroneous one imposed in its place, will experience something of what it means to be a non-person.

My Lady, I believe in the strength of the law. The law is not some frail flower that is going to fall over and die due to a couple of whiffs of peaceful civil disobedience. The law has been around a very long time, since the earliest hunters and gathers. And the reason the law is strong is because it exists in people’s hearts and minds, not because it is written down and studied line by line in the law books; the concept of law is hard wired into our brains. The belief, as described by Chief Justice of Canada Madam Beverly Mclachlin that if protesters are out there, up front with their protests including peaceful civil disobedience then the entire edifice of Canadian law will collapse around our ears makes me wonder about Madam Mclachlin's knowledge of the history of civil protests. It makes me wonder if Madam McLachlin knows that civil disobedience is not hostile to the law, that peaceful civil disobedience gets incorporated into the law, becomes part and parcel of the law. In fact, peaceful civil disobedience is the main vehicle by which the law evolves. It is only when peaceful civil disobedience is not allowed to seek expression, when the courts and the police refuse to allow the law to evolve that the law is in danger as it is now in war torn countries around the world.

The threat to BC law and BC courts is not through people like me, but from a growing corporate mens rea that is spreading out over the land even as it destroys the land, a corporate mens rea that owes nothing to anybody except their select group of stockholders. This Corporate mens rea is also in my opinion, damaging our governmental rights but I won’t digress.

My Lady, I am an extremely law abiding person as are all of my children and grandchildren and it is very disturbing to me when the law does not reflect reality. And when I am accused of having the mens rea of one action that I didn’t have and am denied the recognition of the mens rea of an action that I did have, then the mens rea of which I am accused does not “fit” the reality of my experience or of the law and the charge against me by the Crown of having a criminal mind is in error.
I certainly did disobey a court order. And after reading most of the relevant cases, some of them mine, and the learned judge’s decisions about how a court order is the most enormously important thing in the entire edifice of the law, I don’t believe it. Judges can be replaced, they can have conflicting opinions, they retire, move away, die. The criminal code and the constitution are the most important elements in Canadian law that brings justice to our land, when justice is brought. It is not an individual judge’s opinion to keeps order in the land and it is the criminal code and the Constitution of Canada the compose the elements all citizens should be subject to, and be willing to give obedience and homage to, not to the personal dispositions of an individual judge.

Mr. Justice Grist in his reasons for quashing the Eagleridge Bluffs petiton against Kiewit and Sons and Sea to Sky Highway didn’t even mention the arguments on Charter rights that Mr. Cameron Ward brought before his court. Mr. Justice Grist didn’t even consider them worth mentioning, much less arguing. I’ve never heard of that before where a judge refused to respond to a Charter argument, or any kind of oppositional argument for that matter in his reasons for judgment. Mr. Justice Grist just ignored the entire issue of how the injunction affected the Charter Rights of all the people involved in the protest.

Many judges, my Lady, give out injunctions involving environmental disputes knowing little or nothing about the area involved except how good corporate lawyers are by reducing proof of environmental damage to little or nothing. The argument reminds me very much of a religious argument that upheld masculine superiority even when I was a child and that is… it didn’t matter if a woman was smarter than her husband; she had to obey his stupid decisions simply because he was the authority. And the populace is increasingly becoming smarter about what’s happening to the environment that the judges who are giving out these injunctions in environmental disputes.

In fact, I think a lot of people, My lady, are beginning to go into panic mode over the stupid decisions of governments and court procedures that result in horrid environmental degradation that is leading the entire bio system of the earth toward collapse. We have to stop this madness. We, as a people, have to use reliable uncompromised legal authority and give it the precedence and honor it deserves and that is the careful construction and protections of the criminal code, to put this code aside and say well, we used to deny the code to unions but we can’t do that anymore, but we can still deny the criminal code and the constitution to environmentalists and First Nations so we’ll do that.

My Lady, when all of the arguments are over here in this case of my protest at Eagleridge, one fact remains…Kiewit and Sons an Sea to Sky Highway and Gordon Campbell, Wally Opal, and Mr. Justice Grist have all had their way…Eagleridge Bluffs as an intact eco-system is destroyed.

And we are all the poorer for it. Even the ones who brought the destruction are the poorer in spite of the money they have made and will make out of it because they, too, must now live in a world where there is a little less natural diversity, fewer will animals including numerous insects as well as frogs, deer and bear, fewer native plants, fewer wetlands to store water and cleanse the atmosphere, fewer Arbutus forests already rare, fewer birds will come to next, there will be a little less connection altogether between humans, especially urban humans which most of us are now, with our own biological world.

But nature is fighting back. She is telling us that we are destroying our own habitat, but we know that already because people are grieving. Depression is rife in our land because every species grieves when its habitat is being destroyed and humans, too, are wild creatures. We don’t’ ordinarily think of ourselves as wild creatures but it hasn’t been that long in evolutionary terms that we’ve come out of the caves and forests ourselves. We have the same needs as all other animals, for safe places to sleep, clean water to drink and food that won’t poison us in order to have the strength to mate and look for more food and water. These are essentials for human life, and we’re running out of all of it just as the wild animals are. And the idea that governments in partnership with business have the right to get more and more powerful rich and richer and richer while the earth is being deconstructed by their efforts is going to kill us all unless we as a people put a stop to it.

I do not believe the law is the static, dead thing as presented to us by the Crown and the Attorney General and the courts of British Columbia by as they do by always resorting to precedent, which is the concept that that if a law or ruling has never been interpreted in a certain way by the courts then that is the way it must be forever. I believe that in spite of how it looks at the moment, that while the Courts of BC seem to be playing dead on the issue of injunctions, the court really is still alive, is a living, breathing entity.

Peaceful civil disobedience is not easy under the best of circumstances; in the worse it can be a horror show. But I believe it is an agent for change, peaceful civil disobedience can change the law and the land and citizens and creatures of the land for the better. I believe that peaceful civil disobedience can bring the protections of the Criminal code to all of the citizens of British Columbia and Canada and that people like me will no longer be put into a category of special legal processes and denied the protections of the criminal code while we struggle to retard some of the worst of the deforestation and environmental degradation of our province.

I know the law can change. I’ve witnessed changes in the law. My Lady, you have the power to facilitate change in this court. I ask you to place that power in the service of the children of this province who will need the life support systems being destroyed just to live and breathe and grow up. Stephen Hawkins said in one of his books “The universe is going somewhere and we’re all going with it.” And I believe that. That the universe is going somewhere and that all of the earth’s children will need their life support systems for the journey.” I plead for you assistance, My Lady