Active protest could save dams

NANAIMO: Re: Residents voice support to preserve park’s dams, Nov. 22.

To the Editor,

Re: Residents voice support to preserve park’s dams, Nov. 22.

I would like to congratulate the mayor and the members of council who attended the dam rally at John Barsby Secondary School.

Unfortunately, according to the media, the mayor for one has totally dismissed the concerns of our local citizenry who came out in the hundreds in foul weather to democratically express their well-founded concerns.

Anyone present should have gotten the message that citizens of Harewood, including the ones downstream of the Colliery Dam Park dams are most upset with how this matter has been handled to date.

The citizens of Harewood believe that they have been sidelined, mislead and disrespected. And not for the first time.

After 32 years of residing in Harewood and having the experience of being heavily involved in numerous environmental issues locally and elsewhere, it seems obvious to me that council needs to back up and restart the whole process from scratch.

Our group, the Veterans of Clayquot, got its genesis in 1993 at Tofino which resulted in more than 850 arrests, convictions, and prison sentences. Since then, our group has had a 20-year history of being called upon to intervene when governments or corporations attempt destructive projects.

We will not hesitate to use direct action again if so requested by the Harewood community.

If the city does not take a long, comprehensive and fair relook at this project and ignores the concerns of the Harewood community,  we are in for a long winter and spring of rallies, lobbying, media firefights and all the rest of the usual and legal procedures a community utilizes in a democratic society.

But, if all else fails and the city remains obdurate, next summer it is extremely likely that the tents will go up on the dams and the city will be the recipient of a great deal of legal expenses, confrontation, court action and all the attendant bad publicity the media will cheerfully provide.

For those of you who dismiss civil disobedience as being anti-social, remember that Mount Bensen would have been clearcut by now and there would be no regional park up there if we had not intervened.

So, let’s take a serious relook at this project, and avoid a year of unpleasantness.

Dave Cutts


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