Will Betty Bring in the Judge?

by Yule Heibel on April 11, 2003

I got to hear Betty Krawczyk at a local tree sit at the University of Victoria today, and she made my day. She is an amazing, gifted woman with an intellect that matches her boundless vitality. The British Columbia government plans to pass a law (working forest initiative) that will allow private logging operations to own lands formerly designated as ‘crown’ or *public* lands. It’s a law that will change the BC landscape forever, and not for the better. It’s a law that, if passed, won’t be easily repealed, because once the multinational corporations get their hooks in, any repeal will involve obligations to NAFTA. It’s a law that’s a classic case of what’s wrong with multinational trade agreements which end up giving multinational corporations more rights and power than any elected government — meaning more power than any representation of the citizenry. And still Betty Krawczyk was inspiring, because she keeps fighting for nature.

Guess what? She is again putting herself on the line: she needs to get herself arrested once more so that she can go before the courts. Arguing the case before the courts is our last hope, according to Betty, because the government refuses to listen to the people.

The government has taken plenty of money from the lumber industry (click on title article), and NAFTA is making it too easy for the raping and pillaging of land to pass as *rational* economic policy. If government turns irresponsible — literally not responsive to the people — turn to the courts for help and pray that it works. But time is really short: the public input period on the working forest initiative ends on April 30, and the government is hell-bent on pushing these changes through. Betty needs to get to a judge well before then.

All you Harvard law people out there: any ideas?

Betty and the Women in the Woods plan a peaceful resistance to the government’s privatization of BC’s public forests on April 21/22 in the Walbran Valley. If you’re in the area, email cmcp@islandnet.com or call Marya at 250-592-6484 or Brooke at 250-382-7109 or Betty at 250-388-5739 to arrange transportation and participation.

Incidentally, the UVic protesters might be successful after all with their tree sitting, proving Betty’s emphatically stated point that individuals can make a difference. That makes my Friday, all weekend long!

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