A few days ago, I saw my friend John. He was pretty excited, told me he had just finished reading Whale in the Door and how much he loved it. “Did it make you fall even more in love with Howe Sound?” I asked. He shook his head. “It made me want to get arrested.”
As I tried to gather myself, he told me about being in Clayoquot in the 1990’s and how impressed he was with the old women, the grannies, who were willing to get arrested to save the forests. He felt it should be the older people who get arrested; they’ve lived their lives, and don’t have to worry about having a criminal record. Now, I have to tell you that John is, in my eyes, still a young person. But he felt that at his time in life – middle-age – he would be a good candidate for getting arrested. “Imagine,” he told me, “if all the old people would get arrested, all these old people in the jails.”
I thought about Betty Krawczyk, a self-proclaimed tree-hugger, a granny who has been arrested many times as she protested the irresponsible logging of old growth forests. Betty spent over three years in prison for four different blockades. I wrote to her when she was in prison telling her how much I admired her. I hope it doesn’t come to this, getting arrested I mean, to protect Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem. But I will grab pen and paper to support my friend John and anyone else who makes that decision.