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D'Arcy blockade protestors served with legal papers

Allegations of vandalism and intimation as blockade enters fourth week

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The N’Quátqua Logging Co. (NLC) has begun legal action against the protestors at the D’Arcy blockade.

On Friday, May 12, 10 members of the Voices of the Old Growth Alliance were served with papers at the encampment at the D’Arcy boundary on Portage Road. The application for an injunction will be heard Thursday, May 18.

This action occurred after one of the 10 protestors announced that he would be unwilling to allow a logging truck to pass trough the blockade.

Over the weekend, alliance members have been trying to ascertain the full legal implications of the papers that say the companies involved in the forestry dispute are prepared to hold the individuals liable for costs.

At issue is the NLC’s attempt to harvest 85 hectares of forest. The N’Quatqua Band, which owns NLC, states in a release that all regulations regarding watershed studies, mule deer winter range visual impact and stability have been met.

The band’s release also states an attempt was made to resolve the issue through mediation using the mediator selected by the alliance. However, "Mediation and Forestry Issues seemed to be a front for questions involving governance and personal grievances.

"Failure at mediation left N’Quatqua Chief and Council with no alternative but to pursue an injunction to continue with work."

As the blockade enters its fourth week, Mariko Kage, network support person for the alliance, is exhausted. Asked about allegations of blockade supporters being intimidated, she broke down in tears. Composing herself, Kage apologized and cited the stress as the cause of her emotional display.

"I was up last night until 4 a.m. getting these affidavits ready," explained Kage. "Without a lawyer it’s very had to understand."

A lack of skills and financial resources within the alliance means a handful of members have had to handle negotiations and paperwork.

Unable to afford legal counsel, the alliance has had to rely on piecemeal, adhoc, pro bono advice.

Kage also states that the execution of the papers was a dirty tactic on the part of the chief and council. "The date on the papers reads May 8 and they weren’t served until the 12 th ," said Kage.

Bernice Patterson, N’Quatqua’s forestry consultant, informed the group on May 8 that the band’s logging company was seeking an injunction. Patterson is also a staff member of CRB Logging Co., the company that NLC partnered with to harvest the 85 hectares above Anderson Lake.

Alliance members claim intimidation, alleging that chief and counsel are telling band members that without the estimated $220,000 from the agreement community resources will shut down. Some community members have alleged that band council has warned them not to support the blockade "if they like their jobs." Still others claim acts of vandalism, including the destruction of a trap line, have occurred.

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