(en) Lubicon news

ACT for Disarmament (act@web.net)
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 10:06:06 -0400 (EDT)


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Return-Path: <owner-fol-l@tao.ca> Received: from tao.ca by web.net via rsmtp with esmtp id <m0xERNi-000AkKa@web.net> for <act@web.net>; Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:47:54 -0400 (EDT) (Smail-3.2 1996-Jul-4 #1 built 1996-Oct-8) X-BlackMail: pc105.to.opentext.com, tao.ca, owner-fol-l@tao.ca, 207.216.64.105 X-Authenticated-Timestamp: 23:47:54(EDT) on September 25, 1997 Received: (from majordom@localhost) by tao.ca (TAO3/TAO3) id XAA05924 for fol-l-outgoing; Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:41:37 -0400 Received: from bureau6.utcc.utoronto.ca (bureau6.utcc.utoronto.ca [128.100.132.16]) by tao.ca (TAO3/TAO3) with SMTP id XAA05921 for <fol-l@tao.ca>; Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:41:35 -0400 Received: from [142.150.128.190] ([142.150.128.190]) by bureau6.utcc.utoronto.ca with SMTP id <160117(6)>; Thu, 25 Sep 1997 23:36:50 -0400 X-Sender: k.thomas@mailbox68.utcc.utoronto.ca Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 00:37:57 -0400 To: fol-l@tao.ca From: fol@tao.ca Subject: Day 11 of Daishowa v. Friends of the Lubicon trial Message-Id: <97Sep25.233650edt.160117(6)@bureau6.utcc.utoronto.ca> Sender: owner-fol-l@tao.ca Precedence: bulk Reply-To: fol@tao.ca Status: RO

Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto) 485 Ridelle Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6B 1K6 Tel: (416) 763-7500_ Fax: (416) 603-2715 _ e-mail: fol@tao.ca

Court Update Day 11; Monday, September 22, 1997

FoL's Thomas Takes the Stand

Note: A computer problem has prevented us from providing timely updates for the week of Sept. 22 on. FoL has been in court again on Wednesday the 24 and Thursday the 25. Reports on those days proceedings will be available shortly.

Ms. Wristen, counsel for Friends of the Lubicon (FoL), continued her cross-examination of Daishowa's Tom Cochran, asking about the corporate structure of the company. Cochran agreed that Daishowa companies share the same office, the Annual Report described Daishowa as a group of companies, and there was one telephone number for the office. Cochran was the Plaintiff's last witness. Kevin Thomas, FoL defendant, testified about his background as a Immigration Case Law Researcher and his knowledge of genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia. Thomas first heart of the Lubicon Cree from his uncle, Bill Phipps, who had assisted in organizing a visit to the Lubicon community of Little Buffalo by the World Council of Churches in 1984. Thomas wrote to the Lubicon and was sent an information package that "shocked" him and prompted Thomas to get involved. He said he started a petition at his high school and contacted Indian Affairs. David Crombie, Minister in 1984, responded positively, Thomas stated, and E. Davie Fulton was appointed to investigate the situation. Thomas said he continued to read material that was sent to him by both the Lubicon and the Federal Government. Thomas related his first trip to the Lubicon community in Northern Alberta in 1987. He said he arrived in the midst of a tuberculosis epidemic that affected a third of the community. Thomas said it was "like being in another world" as he saw the conditions the Lubicon lived in. He said poor, overcrowded housing, outdoor toilets, no running water and lack of facilities in the community surprised and angered him. Thomas said he was committed to do more on behalf of the Lubicon people when he attended a meeting between Alberta Health officials and Lubicon leaders. He said the government officials were reluctant to post a full time nurse in the community even in the midst of the tuberculosis epidemic. Thomas testified that was when he saw that people with an ability to do something about these conditions were deliberately refusing to do anything. Chief Bernard Ominayak suggested that supporters could help publicize the situation of the Lubicons, Thomas testified, by meeting the Olympic Torch Relays in 1988 with protests as it passed through their cities. The Chief also recommended that Thomas get in touch with Ed Bianchi, a filmmaker who had documented the Lubicon situation, Thomas said. Petro-Canada, the torch relay's sponsor, was one of many oil companies that had been active on Lubicon land. In Toronto, the relay was met by a protest that included support from the Canadian Alliance In Solidarity with Native Peoples (CASNP) and the Eagle Heart Drummers. Other demonstrations were conducted across the country. Ms. Wristen asked Thomas about other activities that he was involved in to support the Lubicon. Thomas said he helped organize a forum at the Native Canadian Centre on October 12, 1989, to discuss Aboriginal land rights across the country. He said 400 people attended the forum. Thomas said he received lots of press coverage about Daishowa's announcement to construct a Pulp Mill. Thomas felt that the planned project on unceded Lubicon land would have a detrimental effect while the land claim remained unsettled. Friends of the Lubicon (FoL) was formed to inform the public about the Lubicon and began organizing information nights, circulating petitions, and writing letters to the Government. Thomas said he felt powerless when he found out that Daishowa announced that their subsidiary, Brewster Construction, would clear-cut on Lubicon Land in the fall of 1990. A course of action was realized when Ed Bianchi, another FoL member currently named in Daishowa's lawsuit, brought a fast food take out bag that had the Daishowa logo on its' bottom to a meeting. Chief Bernard Ominayak appealed to supporters at the Earth Spirit Festival at Toronto's Harbourfront in the summer of 1991, Thomas said. Chief Ominayak stated that the Lubicon were terrified about the threat of logging on their land according to Thomas. David Suzuki, renowned host of CBC's The Nature Of Things, also spoke against the destruction of the Lubicon at the festival. FoL organized a demonstration outside Daishowa's Toronto office with the National Association For Japanese Canadians (NAJC) and the Eagle Heart Drummers, Thomas testified. Ms. Wristen asked Thomas if he expected Daishowa to resolve Lubicon land issues. Thomas replied, no, Daishowa couldn't but FoL did want Daishowa not to log while negotiations between the Lubicon and the Government was unresolved. FoL, Thomas stated, wanted Daishowa to make a "clear, unequivocable public commitment" that the company wouldn't log until the land claim was settled. FoL felt that Daishowa wasn't honouring an agreement made with the Lubicon in March 1988 not to log until the land rights were resolved. FoL wrote letters to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which used Daishowa paper bags, requesting a commitment that they stop using Daishowa products until Daishowa agreed not to encroach onto Lubicon land. The LCBO is owned by the Ontario Government and as the representatives of the citizens of Ontario, Thomas said, we had a right to demand that it represent our concerns. FoL wrote to Daishowa in November 1991 to introduce the group and express concerns over their announcement that Daishowa's subsidiary, Brewster Construction, would log on Lubicon land that winter. Thomas said, FoL received a reply from Daishowa's James Morrison that the company wouldn't log in the Lubicon "area of concern". Thomas stated that he had to refer back to documents that used the phrase "area of concern" to try to understand what Daishowa was intending. The only previous use of the term was by Alberta Forestry Minister Leroy Fjordbotten who, on November 19, 1990 had told people that Daishowa was not logging in the "area of concern." At that very moment, Thomas testified, Daishowa-owned Brewster Construction was clearcutting in Lubicon lands. Fjordbotten later said that the "area of concern" meant the area right around the proposed reserve, not the whole Lubicon traditional territory. Daishowa's letter to FoL, Thomas testified, had no map or other indication as to which area Daishowa was proposing not to log that season. Another protest at Daishowa's office was followed by a press conference in Ottawa on November 28, 1991 to announce a consumer boycott of businesses using Daishowa products, Thomas related. Ms Wristen asked Thomas why did FoL propose a boycott? Thomas replied that it was the most appropriate tool to make one's opinions heard. The biggest problem, Thomas considered, was that the Lubicon experience with government and oil companies' refusal to take responsibility for their actions, resulting in the devastation of Lubicon society. Ms. Wristen asked how effective the boycott was. Thomas said that FoL had already appealed to Daishowa's conscience and Daishowa had logged anyway; however, when the boycott was announced, Daishowa announced they would not log on a season-by-season basis, and the boycott has successfully kept them from loggin each year since. Ms. Wristen asked Thomas about FoL's use of the word genocide in their press release. Thomas answered that the Lubicon see logging on their land as part of a genocidal process. The Lubicon were faced with exploitation of their land's resources which was severely affecting their society. Clearcutting Lubicon forests would affect hunting and trapping Thomas said, but the Lubicon also depend on the forest for their culture, religion, and way of life. Chief Omninayak told Thomas the Lubicon would no longer exist as Lubicons if clearcutting were to go ahead.

Thanks to Greenpeace for providing a wonderful lunch.Chi Meegwetch. Each day of court has been sponsored by various organizations who bring their members to court to support the Friends during the trial. On Wednesday Sept. 24 the Friends will be joined by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (Toronto).

for more background information, visit the Lubicon supporters web page at: http://kafka.uvic.ca/~vipirg/SISIS/Lubicon/main.html

The Daishowa v. Friends of the Lubicon trial will continue Wednesday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 4-2, 361 University Ave, Toronto. For more information call (416) 763-7500 or e-mail Friends of the Lubicon at fol@tao.ca

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