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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
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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