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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Justice Picnic for Lubicon Lake Cree - Monday, April 14

April 11, 2003 	Contact: Ed Bianchi (613) 235-9956x221


(Ottawa) Outaouais Lubicon Solidarity (OLS), an Ottawa-Gatineau based 
support group for the Lubicon Lake Cree, has invited all Members of 
Parliament to a "Justice Picnic" at the Human Rights Monument on 
Elgin Street to celebrate a 1998 Ontario court ruling that upheld 
everyone's right to freedom of expression by confirming that the 
Friends of the Lubicon had a legal right to boycott and picket the 
Daishowa Paper Mfg. Company.

It was a case that pitted free speech against forestry profits, and a 
ruling against the boycott  would have had serious repercussions for 
future public information and protest campaigns. On April 14, OLSers 
and their guests will revel in Justice James MacPherson's strong 
ruling which described the information campaign as "a model of how 
such activities should be conducted in a democratic society." 
Festivities will begin at Noon. Cake and refreshments will be served, 
along with more information about the court ruling, the Lubicon Cree 
and OLS.

The Justice Picnic is part of OLS' Countdown to Justice: Unfinished 
Business campaign to pressure Prime Minister Chrétien to intervene on 
the Lubicons' behalf before he leaves office.  The Lubicons were 
promised a reserve more than 60 years ago. In 1993, when he was 
Leader of the Official Opposition, Jean Chrétien made a commitment to 
resolve the Lubicons' land rights issue. With the Lubicons' currently 
in negotiations with the federal and Alberta governments, the time is 
right for the Prime Minister to use his influence and to make good on 
his now 10 year old promise.

Noon, April 14, 2003
Ottawa Human Rights Monument (Elgin Street south of Laurier)


In 1991, the Friends of the Lubicon, a support group based in 
Toronto, launched a boycott of the Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. after 
learning of the company's plan to clear cut the Lubicons' 10,000 
square kilometer unceded traditional territory. The boycott was a 
huge success. By 1995, 44 stores representing over 4000 retail 
outlets had joined the boycott. Daishowa responded with a lawsuit, 
and claims of $14 million in losses. The case went to trial in 1998.

Friends of the Lubicon resumed the boycott after winning the case, 
but ended it a few months later when Daishowa finally agreed not to 
cut on Lubicon territory until after the Lubicons had negotiated a 
land rights settlement with both levels of government.

Read reports from the Iraq Peace Team at http://www.nowar-paix.ca/
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