We all know Governments and big corporations make big mistakes. They blow up oil wells, reactors, banking systems and whole cities and nobody goes to jail. Nobody. But if you protest the destruction of Earth's environment - watch out! The full force of the law comes down.
I've heard of harassment and dirty deals against the Greens. But I've never heard anything so disgusting as came out today.
In British Columbia, which claims to have a green conscience, the government of Gordon Campbell was determine to ram through new highways in time for the Olympics. Never mind the environment, or the people who objected, including some of the First Nations people, who have never given up claim to that land.
Betty Krawczyk is at least 81. Maybe more. She has a long history of standing up to logging in the woods, or massive construction through the last urban green. She has been arrested many times. Betty wrote a book in her last 10 month jail sentence.
Now in an Appeal Court action, the British Columbia prosecutor is asking for a life sentence!
Her protest was non-violent - she stood on public land, with a First Nations woman, in front of a construction bull-dozer. Although the authorities were warned Harriet Nahanee was too old and ill for prison - into jail she goes. Harriet, a respected elder, died just days after her release.
Now, without any jury trial, and without a lawyer, Betty Krawczyk will make her Appeal in Vancouver, Canada. The government Prosecutor is calling for a life sentence, comparing Betty's protests to cases of repeated rapes of children.
In Canada, a rapist might get 5 years or less. Murder has been punished with 7 years or less. But environmental protest - throw away the key!
We hear clips recorded from Betty on the Court House steps, plus famous civil rights lawyer Cameron Ward on the abuse of process. Rex Weyler also spoke, as well as a woman representing the First Nations people, who Betty helped many times.
It was a sad affair. If this speech doesn't move you, nothing will.
9 minutes, in 2 megabytes.