We embrace peaceful civil disobedience not only as a tool to bring
social and environmental change, but as a philosophy of the spirit. We
believe that it is only through the actual physical pitting of oneself
against the physical forces that are destroying our earth that we realize
the enormity of what they do, and it is through this realization that
we can take the full responsibility of our own actions, and by so doing,
rise above fear and hesitation in our defense of the earth. And it is
through this risising above, so to speak, that we become nourished and
further strengthened and even more determined, because as we act in
defense of the land, the spirit of the land acts upon us and holds us
But we, Women in the Woods, are not all touchy feely. In fact, we have
become so familiar with the court rooms of BC through repeated charges
and incarcerations that we feel quite at home there. Enough to learn
how to press the issues before the courts and to hold the courts
themselves publicly accountable for their part in the desecration of the
public forests of British Columbia. We constantly challenge the court... to
whom do these public forests belong? To the logging companies? To any
mercenary provincial government that manages to lie its way into office?
To the Supreme courts judges of British Colombia who consistently
protect the logging companies by the issuance of Slap suits and injunctions
that leave us citizens with no legal defense? To the Attorney general
who advises the RCMP how to arrest anti logging protesters? We, Women
in the Woods, say no. The public forests of British Columbia belong to
the public in general and to the claims of the indigenous peoples of
British Columbia. And we will continue to challenge the courts and the
provincial government (through civil disobedienc e arrests and trials)
until all corporate industrial logging (clear cutting) is out of the
woods of British Columbia, replaced by selective logging by community
cooperatives and First Nations.
And the courts have begun to move. The judges do not like being told
they have obviously given up on interpreting the law under the prism of
public interest. Judges like to think they are the administrators of
justice. But when the contradictions between how they consistently
interpret the law to protect corporations become so striking even Supreme
Court judges blanch at the hypocrisy. During our last trials Mr.
Justice Pitfield changed the injunction we were arrested under to read that
if Jan Bradley and I were arrested again in the Walbran she and I were
not to be arrested under the injunction. So Weyerhaeuser and Hays
Logging had an injunctio n that said the RCMP was not to arrest us under
the injunction. That's just too funny. The courts are now in such a
troubled state about injunctions as a form of citizen control that when
the provincial government recently sought an injunction at Cathedral
Grove the judge refused to issue one. So things are moving along in the
courts, thanks to peaceful civil disobedients like Women in the Woods and
Igmar Lee. Once we are free of Slap suits and injunctions, we can fly.
Corporations are not designed to consider the well being of the public.
They are designed to only consider the well being of their stock
holders and can even, as Joel Bakan pointed out in his book "Corporations" be
held legally liable if they refuse to do so. But the government is
supposed to represent us, the government is us, and we as citizens can
demand that it stop playing Sugar Daddy for the corporations and tend to
its primary business... representing the people's interests. A tree farm
license is a lease, not a transfer of public property to private status.
And the entire practice of giving out Tree Farm Licenses in the first
place stinks to high heaven. The very first ones were given out i n
infamy and criminality. The courts and all succeeding governments have
simply ignored this little fact, but we, Women in the Woods, demand a
revisitation of this initial birthing of how Tree Farm Licenses came to be
considered irrevocable law.
One reason the world is in such a mess is because there are no strong
counterbalancing women's voices in world decision making. We, Women in
the Woods, have an unshakable belief that as women come together from
all races that we will create a new vision of relatedness, to the earth
and to each other. Stay tuned. Betty Krawczyk for Women in the Woods.