Mountain Warrior? It only takes one. And Alan Dutton, a retired professor,
certainly takes that title in my opinion. He is the only one with the guts
and the ability to stand up to what has been a conspiracy between the courts
of this province, the resource extraction corporations and both provincial
and federal governments.
What do I mean by
Because all three
of the above conspire to facilitate the use of injunctions to impose the
intellectually conniving perceived rights of corporations over the natural
rights of the earth and Her inhabitants. When citizens try to stop an
obvious harm to land, waterways and habitat for all living things, the
corporations turn to the courts. They know the BC courts are their friends.
Most judges in BC were corporate lawyers before becoming judges. They are
used to fighting for the artificially perceived rights of death dealing
corporations rather than the natural rights of living things to clean water,
food, and air to breathe.
But what are
these injunctions? Most people know that in some way injunctions make people
stop protesting a contested area like Burnaby Mountain, and some even know
these injunctions are precipitated by something called SLAPP suits. What is
a SLAPP suit? When I heard the actual legal title I was astonished. SLAPP
stands for ďStrategic Lawsuit against Public ParticipationĒ. How
anti-democratic! And blatantly anti-public! And anti-everything except the
rights of courts, governments and the corporations they serve.
However, with a
copy of a SLAPP suit in hand to show they have civilly sued a protester the
corporation can take this back to the court and ask for an injunction (or
even before the suit is filed). The judge will most certainly give the
corporation the injunction requested (they refuse so rarely it isnít even
worth mentioning) et voila!
Now anybody who
steps up to try to block any bit of the corporationís right to do whatever
they chose to do to an area will now be breaking a judgeís order. The court
seems to be taking a slightly different tact with Burnaby Mountain
protesters than they did with me in the logging protests; instead of the
humiliating demand for an apology to the court that I refused, the
protesters are agreeing to some sort of settling out of court. Except for
Mr. Allan Dutton, who is refusing to settle and is challenging the right of
the courts to give out injunctions instead of using the Canadian Criminal
Code to deal with protesters.
Okay, so how
would that fix things if the criminal code was used instead? The criminal
code has instructions for just about any crime or misdemeanor one can think
of. Blocking a road is against the law. So is refusing to move when a police
officer commands it. So the police would simply arrest whoever was breaking
the law. And then in court a protester could have an actual trial where the
contest would be between the protester and the corporation instead of
between the protester and the judge for breaking the judgeís order. Thatís
why the corporations so love injunctions.
canít argue in court his or her reasons for trying to stop a destruction of
the earth when one is arrested under an injunction. There is no defense for
breaking a judgeís order. The question just becomes one of if the protester
knew about the injunction and if he or she broke the injunction by refusing
to move. Thatís it. That is what the Strategic Lawsuits Against Public
Participation (SLAPP suits) culminate in, Injunctions and humiliating
retreats for the protesters.
occasionally, for whatever reason, a protester will refuse to retreat. Like
Alan Dutton. This resounds among the populace. Itís heart-warming. Itís
hopeful. Courage is inspiring and itís also contagious. Alan Dutton, I
understand is to be back in the courtroom tomorrow (Jan.19). I wish I could
be there. Those of you who can, will you please attend and bear witness? And
report the results? A warrior is going to be on the stand.
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