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Two women arrested blockading logging in Walbran Valley

Three grandmothers are blockading Weyerhaeuser's logging trucks today, protesting the company's liquidation of the Upper Walbran Valley's ancient rainforests and the BC government's drive to privatize our public lands through its so-called "Working Forest" initiative.

For more info on forest defense campaigns in B.C. Canada: [ Forest Action Network | Women in The Woods (direct action) |The Walbran Valley (forest monitoring) | BC Pathways (south Vancouver Island forest preservation)]

Also check out www.cascadiasummer.org

Media Release For Immediate Release Media Release June 24, 2003 TWO WOMEN ARRESTED BLOCKADING LOGGING IN WALBRAN VALLEY (Walbran Valley, Vancouver Island) Jen Bradley and Betty Krawczyk were arrested today for protesting logging in the Walbran Valley. This is the second time this summer they have been arrested, but the first time did not result in a charge. The two grandmothers were arrested just after noon today while a third grandmother played Oh, Canada on a harmonica. "Weyerheauser, go home," Betty Krawczyk yelled as she was being put into a police truck. The Women in the Woods, who organized the protest, said the arresting officers, members of the Lake Cowichan RCMP, were very congenial. Backgrounder from Yesterday Grannies blockade against the Working Forest - Weyerhaeuser's logging halting yet again in the Upper Walbran Valley - June 23, 2003 Three grandmothers are blockading Weyerhaeuser's logging trucks today, protesting the company's liquidation of the Upper Walbran Valley's ancient rainforests and the BC government's drive to privatize our public lands through its so-called "Working Forest" initiative. The protesters include: 74 year old Betty Krawczyk, already arrested 3 times for protesting the Working Forest initiative, as well as in Clayoquot Sound and the Elaho Valley; 80 year old Ruth Masters, a veteran of campaigns to stop mining in Strathcona Provincial Park, trophy hunting of bears, and the logging of the Walbran and Tsitika Valleys and Clayoquot Sound; and 48 year old Jen Bradley, women's and human right's activist also arrested a month ago in the Upper Walbran while protesting the Working Forest. For more info on the Seniors Blockade, contact Carolyn at: cmcp@islandnet.com ------------------------------------------------ Edward May edmay@enviroweb.org

something we can do 25.Jun.2003 06:47

dirt

There's a fifteen foot diameter cedar stump in the Walbran. it's fresh cut and full of bright red. Weyerhaeuser is the thief in this real-life theater. This company is based in the state of Washington and we need help getting a much larger scale campaign going against weyerhaeuser.

Please join or email group bustweyerhaeuser-subscribe@yahoogroups.com To see this fat stump you have to check out: http://www.wildernesscommittee.org ---> Of course Weyco has hacked these sites and others. The media blackout tactics are succeeding. We need your help to get the word out!



The Prince Of Darkness, Mother Nature, and Women in the Woods 25.Jun.2003 15:20

repost from website

(Draft Version -- June 3/03)

There is a fierce struggle going on in the Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia and it's tempting for one to characterize this struggle as being either black or white, good verses evil, or the Prince of Darkness pitted, not against the Princess of Light, but against the Mother, the holy body of nature.

Yes, this sounds overly dramatic. However, in another sense it isn't at all melodramatic, at least when applied to what our Premier, Gordon Campbell, is attempting to do to our public forests. Gordon Campbell is the "Prince," who sees our public forests as a "cash cow" to make up for the shortfall that occurred when he gave away the coffers of British Columbia to his rich friends in a stunning tax break. And the holy Mother, swooning under the onslaught of unrestrained corporate logging, is represented by what is left of our rare, magnificent, irreplaceable, old growth public forests. Dramatic? No, the descriptions fit.

Our group, the Women in the Woods, wants a moratorium on all logging by trans-national operations in British Columbia until the question of ownership of these valuable forests can be sorted out. Why should giant logging companies, including and especially foreign ones like Weyerhaeuser, come into our public forests, strip them bare, clearcutting, leaving trashed land and communities behind? This is outrageous! These forests are PUBLIC, they belong to the people and to the First Nations people of British Columbia and it is time that we reclaim them. Past time. Because what's left is going fast!

This sense of urgency has recently been guiding the activities of the Women in the Woods. Last month a group of thirty or more women (and our male supporters) went to the Walbran Valley, located in the central part of Vancouver Island and pitched camp.

We blockaded a logging road for two and a half weeks before there were any arrests. Weyerhaeuser and their contractor, Hayes Logging, seemed reluctant to bring down an injunction (a court order). And the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wouldn't arrest blockaders without an injunction order. But two of us, both grandmothers, Jen Bradley at age 48, and me at age 74, were finally arrested and hauled off to court.

Part of our tactic when arrested is not to sign an "undertaking" (which would let us go free until trial) because this would include a promise not to go back to the forest where we were arrested. We believe that the public forests belong to the public and that we, as members of the public, have every right to be there, protesting our property's destruction. We both refused to sign and so we were held in prison without charge, including four days in the abominable Victoria drunk tanks (14 days of confinement in total for Jen and 20 days for me -- without charges!).

Jen was getting physically sick so she eventually decided to sign the undertaking and was released -- but I didn't. My legal advisor, Cameron Ward, contested my continued incarceration without charge, which brought me back to court six days later (15 days earlier than scheduled). He filed a writ of Habeas Corpus on my behalf. This time the plaintiff's lawyers seemed to be running for cover. The Crown Prosecutor (from the Attorney General's Office) said that he still needed more time to bring a charge and the lawyer for the logging company said that they had already turned it over to the Crown. (The transfer of the case to the Crown removes all court costs from the logging companies and placing the burden on the shoulder of BC taxpayers.)

Another lawyer from the Attorney General's Office was in the courtroom representing the women's prison in Burnaby where Jen and I had been held. This lawyer seemed to be suggesting that the Judge, himself, was the one to make the charge stick, because the original allegation was that we had broken a judge's order and were thereby in 'contempt.' In the end, the presiding judge waffled on the invitation and didn't even give reasons for his final decision to let me go. I was released without signing anything except a promise to return to court in the case that the Crown does decide to go ahead with a charge.

We plan to return for court on the 16th of June, which might bring a trial date if the Crown decides to go ahead with the prosecution. And we want a trial in order to bring Premier Campbell's proposed legislation, the "Working Forest" initiative, which will essentially privatize all of the public forest in British Columbia, into the courtroom. However, Campbell and his crew are trying to weasel out of taking us to trial.

We don't intend to let them off that easily. If no charges will be pressed against us, then presumably they will not be laying charges for similar blockades on any and all logging roads in British Columbia. We certainly plan to test this, if we are not charged for our last blockade. So the struggle continues.

We want our public forests, these most wonderful treasures, to be preserved, now and forever, for the present and for the future, for ourselves, our progeny and for the world. If the Government of British Columbia doesn't give Women in the Woods a trial date soon then we'll be back on the logging roads, blockading, until they do give us a trial.

It's your choice, Premier Campbell. A trial date soon or more blockades?



Betty Krawczyk for Women in the Woods

Phone: (250) 388 5739

(No e-mail address)



Mailing Address:

# 405-951 Topaz Ave.,

Victoria, BC, Can V8T 2M2