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forest defense | prisons & prisoners

November 23rd - an important message from Brother Tre Arrow - Dec 5 deadline

sample letter at the bottom of Tre's callout
Hey to all of you out there. It's Tre from Wilkie. Please
don't misunderstand my last callout. This is no country club
here! Wilkie offers a few "privileges" that weren't available to me at
North Fraser. I am grateful to be able to access a few things which help
to make this challenging existence a bit more tolerable. This reality
of living in a cage is the most toxic, oppressive atmosphere I have ever
endured. This is a life governed by fear, with a schedule and routine of
spinning clocks and slamming metal doors. There are constant
stresses and conflicts, but I figure it's better to focus on the
positive rather than the negative, eh?

This morning I glanced out the window and witnessed a few
deer pouncing by on the other side of the fence... What it's like to be
a free wild animal! And tonight I gazed out the window and viewed the
North Star and Big Dipper for the first time in almost two years. It was
a glorious sight, reminding me whence we came, to where we may
return, and how much greatness & mystery lie beyond these Humyn-made walls...

1. Letters to the Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler
2. Submissions to the Minister
3. My appeal

Thank you to all who have written your letter to the
Minister. For those who haven't written their letter yet...IT'S NOT TOO LATE!
However, the time is now, please don't wait any longer. The submissions
to the Minister are due by Dec. 5. He has until May to make his
decision whether or not to surrender me to the US. However, he may
make his decision sooner, so please write your letter ASAP, so he
has your words of support to consider when making his decision. Consider
this letter writing campaign to the Minister to be an enormous help to
me in which you can easily take part. Please see the previous callout,
or go to www.trearrow.org for full details about the letter writing
campaign. If you don't have the time or energy to send a copy to my
lawyer Tim or to local newspaper editors please just send your one letter
to the Minister. Thanks again!

My legal defence team and I are working on the submissions
to the Minister of Justice which are due by December 5, 2005.
Thanks to all those who are helping with the work and research involved
in this. The three main arguments opposing my extradition which make up
"the submissions" are as

-This prosecution and extradition is politically motivated
and I am being targeted and persecuted for my political beliefs.

-Considering the well-documented abuses and violations of
Prisoners' rights in US prisons and my particular diet and religious
beliefs, I will not be able to get fair treatment if convicted of the

-The sentencing I face in the US is not only inconsistent
with Canadian sentencing; it is also an example of overzealous targeting
of environmental Activists by the US government and the FBI.

At present no date has been set to appeal the committal
order from Magistrate Gill. It will most likely be in January or
February of 2006. Even though it would make legal and logistical sense to
make our submissions to the Minister after the outcome of the
appeal hearings, the Minister has refused to wait, and is requiring us to
file our submissions by December 5, 2005.

Further details and more elaborate legal explanations to
follow in a few weeks...

For more info: www.trearrow.org

Love, peace, and solidarity - namaste, Tre



Your name/address

The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8

November 23, 2005

Dear Mr. Cotler,

I am writing you today on behalf of my friend, Tre Arrow. It seems that he has fallen victim to a circumstance that is becoming disturbingly common in the United States of America. He is being targetted for his political beliefs. Merely being outspoken in this country is enough to get a person landed in jail. Just communicating with you on Tre's behalf is a risky endeavor in this day and age. It could mean that those advocating for Tre may face similar political persecution ourselves.

I am writing to let you know about my sense of Tre and his devotion to his beliefs. To most people, Tre may be difficult to understand, and to relate to. His closeness to the planet and her earthly inhabitants is at times very distant from what we are conditioned to believe is "appropriate" behavior. His ability to garner attention for causes he believes in is what got him where he is today; targetted by the U.S. government. And he is motivated by a true inner sense of compassion for nature and for what our lifestyles are doing to harm nature. He leads by example and walks his talk. He is one of the few people I have seen live on a diet of raw food and actually remain quite healthy. It is essential that he be allowed to follow his dietary choices. He is unlikely to enjoy that privilege in U.S. jails where healthcare is nearly non-existent and only available to the privileged (as it is in the rest of this country) and where the point of incarceration is to break one's spirit and prevent creativity.

Tre's crime was not stealing a pair of bolt-cutters, a crime which he has more than served his time for at this point. His "crime" was confronting the establishment in creative ways that were designed to get attention for the forests and wild creatures and native plants that we all take for granted. In so doing, Tre became known as a person who "speaks for the trees", a real-life Lorax, one who would take great risks in defense of mother nature. He ended up accidentally falling from old growth trees and perching himself on a ledge, as just a few examples of the risks he is willing to take. Although Tre is certainly willing to take some risks, I don't believe that life in prison was one of them. As public of a figure as Tre is/was, I find it hard to believe that he would risk his freedom by committing the crimes he is currently being accused of.

I know that generally U.S. citizens cannot seek refugee status to be granted in Canada. But I think it is safe to say that Tre will more than likely join the hundreds of political prisoners that languish in U.S. prisons, waiting on death row and serving life terms for the crime of speaking their minds against the establishment. In a "free" country one would not imagine this could be true, but many of those torturers at Abu Graib prisons were former U.S. prison guards.

I fear for Tre's safety at the hands of U.S. prison guards, and I strongly believe that Tre's sentencing here in the U.S. is going to be meant to "set an example" to other environmentalists who would dare to challenge the established rule of environmentally destructive policies based on corporate profit-motivated greed. The kind of sentencing Tre will face here, will be very inconsistent with Canadian sentencing. These extradition efforts are politically motivated, and are not geared toward accomplishing any real justice in this case.

Please consider refusing the extradition request being made by the U.S. government for Tre Arrow. Please understand that his only crime in the U.S. has been to be outspoken about beliefs that nearly half the country shares, and that he does not deserve life imprisonment for that offense.