Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Yes, in West Van. Where the mayor lives. Ten people shot in a gang squabble just like in Mexico. How did so many young men in BC become criminal gang members? And how did they become first person shooters (the real name of some violent video games) in real life instead of living vicariously through the games they received from Christmas’ past like they were supposed to do? Am I blaming the violent video games for gangland behavior?

No. Only as a contributing factor. The main reason for gang violence is the same one that haunts Mexico. That all levels of government and business are still clinging doggedly to the business model of corporations which dictates in times of stress to downsize, computerize, and load off shore. Great. For the companies. But then what do Canadians, especially young people, do for jobs that will enable them to live reasonably?

Provincial and federal governments tell us that is a problem for the individual person even while they up the cost of living and education for all young people. So what can young people do when they can’t find jobs or earn enough to go to school? No answers from heads of banks, university or government economists. That’s because even the ones who recognize that we are all looking into the bowels of an economic upheaval won’t say so. Out loud. It takes a techie economist like Hank Williams (I don’t know if this Hank Williams sings) who works in, and reflects upon, how technology itself is bringing on a great upheaval. And to write about it.

In his article entitled : THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE ECONOMY IS THAT IT DOESN’T NEED YOU ANYMORE: Williams says that due to technology It takes, and will take, many fewer people to produce goods for consumption, which in turn leaves the benefit of this increased consumption in the hands of fewer and fewer people. In 1995 Jeremy Rifkin (American economist and writer) wrote a book entitled THE END OF WORK. Riftkin said then what Williams is saying now. Work as we know it is being rapidly automated without consideration of the many young people trying to enter the job market. And too many young males are finding their own solutions to the problem.

Friday, December 03, 2010

THIS DANGEROUS PLACE: Where law and justice collide

     The BC Appeals Court has just brought down a decision on my sentence for blockading at Eagleridge Bluffs in 2006. My appeal was denied. And of course I’m disappointed. I’m always disappointed in the decisions of the BC Supreme and Appeals Court decisions concerning people’s struggles over trying to protect public and/or First Nation’s property. However, there were a few interesting comments in this decision.
     Mr. Justice Tysoe, in writing for the majority, with Madam Justice Rowles and Madam Justice Bennett concurring, wrote that the case law submitted by Michael Brundrett (Crown) comparing me to violent pedophiles thus: Page 5, no. 14, “As the Crown indicated at the hearing, those cases are relevant for the legal principles they contain concerning the limits of the scope of appellate review in sentence appeals and not for any other purpose.”
     But I have trouble with this. As I understand it, the scope of appellate review is supposed to compare like cases to like circumstance, not go wildly off the rails as Michael Brundrett (Crown) did by underlining the judge’s opinion in one of these cases suggesting that I could be compared (in his submissions for appellate review) to these cases and should be put away for life. At least Mr. Justice Tysoe, along with Madam Justice Rowles and Madam Justice Bennett, refused that option and mentioned that even my ten month sentence was high. And they did throw me another little crumb.
     The Appeal Judges did not seem convinced that Madam Justice Brown was right in refusing me credit for the month I spent in prison waiting for Cameron Ward to return from vacation at the beginning of my trial. I felt I was being unfairly criminalized without my lawyer being present and in a fit of pique rescinded my undertaking. Mr. Justice Tysoe wrote: Page 9, no. 29, “The rationale (for refusing me credit that could have been applied to my ten month sentence) was that it was Mrs. Krawczyk’s decision to remain in custody. I have reservations whether this approach is correct in principle…I think the point should be left to another occasion when the court has the benefit of full submissions.”
     I’m not sure at the moment what full submissions on this point might consist of but I will find out. Because there will be more of this governing by injunction as the Attorney General is apparently too lazy and morally lax to do his job while many First Nations and other environmentalists are gearing up for protest. And I will go with what the Justices of the BC Appeals Court have given me, meager it might be. I will apply to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In other words, I will appeal this appeal. And I want to thank all of you who stood by me, who came to court, who spoke out, who wrote to the Attorney General’s office because you also love this land, the waters, the wild animals and forests of British Columbia as I do. And you love justice. How can we possibly lose?