Lubicon Cree & Daishowa Paper


Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, Alberta
Phone: 403-629-3945
Fax: 403-629-3939

Mailing address:
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6J 1A4
Phone: 403-436-5652
Fax: 403-437-0719



February 7, 1995



Enclosed for your information are materials relating to an attempt by Daishowa to obtain a court injunction preventing Lubicon supporters from pursuing the growing boycott of Daishowa paper products. Daishowa has filed a motion in Ontario claiming losses from the boycott of $5 million over the past three years and on-going losses at a current rate of $3 million a year. While these figures may be inflated for the purposes of Daishowa's legal action they are nonetheless a clear indication of the success of the Stop Daishowa campaign and the level of support for the Lubicon people in their continuing struggle to survive.



Daishowa is applying for an immediate injunction to block the Friends of the Lubicon, certain named individuals and anyone having knowledge of the injunction from contacting Daishowa customers and asking them to stop buying Daishowa products. It also calls for the Friends of the Lubicon and certain named individuals to pay Daishowa's court costs and a yet-to-be- specified amount in damages to make up for the supposedly "irreparable harm" that Lubicon supporters have caused Daishowa.



It's of course ludicrous for Daishowa to play the victim in the dispute between the Lubicons and Daishowa. However that's precisely what Daishowa has been doing ever since they met opposition to their plan to clear-cut almost the entire unceded traditional territory of the Lubicon Nation. It's even more ludicrous when you consider that all that's required to end the boycott is for Daishowa to make a clear, public and unequivocal commitment not to cut or to buy wood cut on Lubicon territories until Lubicon land rights are settled and a harvesting agreement is negotiated with the Lubicons respecting Lubicon wildlife and environmental concerns.



Daishowa's legal action clearly has less to do with redressing any real or imagined wrong done to Daishowa than it has to do with paving the way for Daishowa to begin the process of clear- cutting the Lubicon forests in earnest -- probably next fall. Having unsuccessfully attempted to confuse the issue of their role in the continuing genocide of the Lubicon people through a persistent propaganda campaign which misrepresented their dealings with the Lubicons, misrepresented their opposition, misrepresented Lubicon discussions with the federal government and misrepresented even their own constantly shifting position, Daishowa is now hoping to block the boycott through harassment, intimidation, demanding gigantic sums in damages which Lubicon supporters could never afford to pay and forcing the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon to engage in an expensive and lengthy court battle which drains the organization financially and diverts attention away from the boycott campaign.



The Daishowa legal action accuses the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon of so-called "illegal boycott activities" such as inducing breach of contract between Daishowa and its customers, using secondary boycott and picketing tactics, conspiracy to injure, conspiracy to intimidate and spreading lies about Daishowa's activities.



The first two charges refer to labour laws brought in earlier in this century to curtail the power of unions then considered a menace to society to be contained if not destroyed. That Daishowa would display such contempt for legitimate protest in the 1990s as was shown for labour organizing in the 1930s will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Daishowa's activities over the years. The relevance of labour law to a consumer boycott outside of a labour dispute is questionable on purely technical grounds. However, technicalities aside, its use is ominous in that the very notion of declaring a consumer boycott illegal would severely curtail the right to freedom of expression in Canada, allowing Daishowa to treat democratic rights in Canada with as little respect as they've shown for land rights, human rights and the environment.



The "lies" that Daishowa claims the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon have been spreading include claims that Daishowa is responsible for clear-cut logging on unceded Lubicon territories and plans to do so again.



Daishowa has frequently changed their story regarding their intentions on Lubicon land and the affidavits attached to their injunction application are no exception. They are now claiming that the boycott is directed against their packaging division, "Daishowa Inc.", and that "Daishowa Inc." has never clear cut on Lubicon territories. They also claim that "Daishowa Canada" has never clear-cut on Lubicon territories. Both of these claims may be technically true. However what's left out of Daishowa's selective affidavits is that a Daishowa-owned subsidiary, Brewster Construction, and Buchanan Lumber (who provided timber to Daishowa cut from Lubicon land), did carry out clear-cut logging on unceded Lubicon territory in the fall of 1990 under the terms of the Forest Management Agreement owned by Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd. Moreover Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd. and Daishowa Inc. are both owned by a transnational Japanese forestry giant based in Tokyo called the Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company. The legalistic terms of their incorporation thus might technically allow Daishowa to tell people they haven't clear-cut on Lubicon land when their own subsidiary has done so but such legalistic sophistry doesn't fool anybody.



That Daishowa plans to clear-cut Lubicon territories is a matter of public record. They are the signatories of a Forest Management Agreement with the Province of Alberta which blankets the entire Lubicon traditional territory. If they have no intention of acting on this FMA why don't they make the simple commitment that Lubicon supporters have been asking for and end the boycott?



Instead Daishowa is pursuing a hostile legal action intended to block anyone critical of their plans to clear-cut Lubicon trees. The Lubicon experience in Canadian courts has been well-documented and is so horrendous that the United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded that the Lubicons could not achieve effective legal redress in Canada. Considering the power and resources available to Daishowa as compared to those available to a small group of volunteers like the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon, this Daishowa legal action can only be considered more of the same.



On February 6th lawyers Clayton Ruby and Dan Brodsky appeared in Ontario General Court on behalf of the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon and asked for an adjournment to a later date in order to prepare a proper defense. Daishowa's lawyers agreed to the adjournment but only on the condition that Friends of the Lubicon suspend their boycott activity during that period. A statement released by the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon outlining the terms of that agreement is attached.



During the three month period outlined in the agreement Lubicon supporters will be preparing a legal defense and developing alternate means to pursue the objective of keeping Daishowa off Lubicon lands despite Daishowa's use of the Canadian courts as a bludgeon to silence Daishowa's critics.



People who want to support the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon in their fight against Daishowa can start by writing letters to Tom Hamaoka, Vice President of Daishowa Canada. An excellent sample letter written by the Task Force on Churches and Corporate Responsibility is attached. Please send copies of your correspondence to Tom Cochran, Director of Corporate Development of Daishowa Forest Products Ltd., the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon and the Lubicon Lake Nation. People are also encouraged to write to their local papers to let the public know what it's like to deal with Daishowa.



Finally, the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon is a volunteer organization run on a shoestring budget and does not have anywhere near the kind of resources that Daishowa has available to devote to this case. Despite this disparity the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon must retain legal counsel to defend themselves in court. Organizations and individuals who can donate money towards their legal defense are encouraged to do so.





The necessary addresses are listed below:



Mr. Tom Hamaoka

Executive Vice President

Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd.

Suite 3500 - Park Place

666 Burrard Street

Vancouver, B.C. V6C 2X8

Phone: (604) 684-4326

Fax: (604) 681-8659



Mr. T.R. Cochran

Director, Corporate Development

Daishowa Forest Products Ltd.

BCE Place, 161 Bay Street, Suite 2110

Toronto, ONT M5J 2S1

Fax: 416-862-7514



Toronto Friends of the Lubicon

c/o Ed Bianchi

485 Ridelle Avenue

Toronto, ONT M6B 1K6

Fax: 416-603-2715





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Attachment #1: January 12, 1995, Daishowa Press Release



Toronto, Ontario: Daishowa Inc. announced that it had brought action in the Ontario court (General Division) seeking an injunction to restrain a group called "Friends of the Lubicon" from using illegal means to threaten and intimidate Daishowa's customers into joining a boycott against the company.



The boycott initiated by the Friends of the Lubicon relates to a dispute between the Lubicon Lake Band and the Government of Canada over a land claim in Northern Alberta.



Daishowa Inc. is taking this action to protect customers from further unlawful action by the Friends of the Lubicon and to preserve its Canadian markets.



The company said that the purpose of this announcement was to explain the reasons for Daishowa taking this action against the Friends of the Lubicon and to prevent any misunderstanding about the company's objectives.



Contact: Tom Cochran, Director, Corporate Development, 416-862- 5006





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Attachment #2: January 12, 1995 letter from Tom Cochran to Chief Bernard Ominayak



Dear Chief Ominayak:



For your information, please find attached a copy of the press release which we will be issuing today regarding the lawsuit initiated by our subsidiary company, Daishowa Inc., against the Friends of the Lubicon. The purpose of this letter is to advise you personally of our actions so that there is no possibility for any misunderstanding.



This action is only against the Friends of the Lubicon and does not implicate any of the members of the Lubicon Lake Band. The lawsuit is completely separate from, and has no relation to, the current dispute by the Lubicon Lake Band regarding your land claims in Alberta and is not intended in any way to be regarded as a hostile action against members of the Lubicon lake Band.



The action against the Friends of the Lubicon was begun because they have been using illegal boycotting tactics against some of our customers, none of whom has any direct connection with the Lubicon's land dispute.



We want to assure you that, as is mentioned in the attached press release, this action is being commenced only in order to protect our customers, and we will take every effort to explain to the press and general public that it has no connection with the dispute regarding the Lubicon land claims in Northern Alberta.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us directly."





For more information contact the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation at 403-436-5652 or 403-629-3945.



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Attachment #3: Februray 07, 1995, letter to Tom Cochran from Chief Ominayak



Dear Sir:



The following letter will be released publicly today regarding the lawsuit which Daishowa announced on January 12th it has initiated against the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon. We will also be publicly releasing a copy of the January 12th letter you faxed to me and a copy of your related press release -- just so people get a little taste of what it's like dealing with Daishowa.



The Toronto Friends of the Lubicon are long-time, highly-valued allies of the Lubicon people in our struggle to survive the destruction of our traditional lands and theft of our natural resources by the Alberta Provincial government and transnational resource exploitation companies like Daishowa. To suggest, as you do in your January 12th letter, that your legal action against the Toronto Friends of the Lubicons doesn't involve the Lubicon people, doesn't "implicate" us, is "separate from" our land rights struggle, has "no relation" to our land rights struggle and isn't a "hostile action" against us is typical Daishowa doublespeak once again reflecting Daishowa's lack of respect for the intelligence of Canadians.



Any legal action against the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon, especially with regard to the boycott of Daishowa forest products which the Toronto Friends have been pursuing on our behalf, of course not only "implicates" the Lubicon people but is an integral part of our struggle to survive and can only be considered as yet another "hostile action" against the Lubicon people by Daishowa.



The reason Daishowa forest products are being boycotted is not because the Lubicon people arbitrarily picked Daishowa's name out of the phone book but because of the continuing threat that Daishowa will invade our traditional territory and clear-cut thousands of our trees a day stripping bare the forest upon which countless generations of Lubicon people have depended for survival. For Daishowa to remove that threat, and to have the boycott immediately called off, all it has to do is to publicly reaffirm that it will honour the agreement it made with us in March of 1988 to stay out of our unceded traditional territory until our land rights have been settled and an agreement is negotiated with us respecting our wildlife and environmental concerns.



Instead of publicly reaffirming that agreement, however, Daishowa publicly denies the agreement exists. In spite of a number of variously disguised unsuccessful efforts by Daishowa to move into our area and clear-cut our trees, Daishowa publicly claims to have voluntarily stayed out of our area. And contrary to smooth public assurances that Daishowa has no plans to clear-cut our traditional territory, when Daishowa is pressed it in fact refuses to say how long it will stay out.



These are some of the facts which we hope to educate Daishowa customers and potential Daishowa customers about through our boycott -- so that decent people across the country and around the world understand that they are supporting the continuing genocide of the Lubicon people if they purchase Daishowa paper products.



We are confident that Daishowa's announced legal action against the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon will in the end have the effect of complementing the boycott in transmitting this message to the public -- including Daishowa customers and potential Daishowa customers."



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Attachment #4: The Globe and Mail, Friday, January 13, 1995

DAISHOWA FIGHTS BOYCOTT TACTICS



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Attachment #5: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (12:00 Noon) Friday, January 13, 1995





Phil Henry, CBC



Daishowa has gone to court to stop a lobby group from boycotting its paper products. Daishowa says the consumer boycott by Friends of the Lubicon is illegal. The group says it's doing nothing wrong and the boycott will continue. Byron Christopher has the story.





Byron Christopher, CBC



Back in 1991 the Toronto based group Friends of the Lubicon began a consumer boycott of Daishowa made products, mainly paper bags. Since then nearly 4 dozen companies have joined the boycott. Friends of the Lubicon say Daishowa, which runs a pulp mill in the Peace River country, is threatening the way of life of the Lubicon Cree. Both the Lubicon and the Alberta Government lay claim to a big piece of land in northwestern Alberta. The lobby group says Daishowa has cut down trees on Lubicon land. The boycott appears to be working. Daishowa has gone to court asking for an injunction to restrain the lobby group from, in its words, "using illegal means to threaten and intimidate Daishowa's customers". Tom Cochrane, who speaks for Daishowa, says the group Friends of the Lubicon is not telling the truth. He says Daishowa has never taken trees from land claimed by the Lubicon.



Tom Cochrane, Director, Corporate Development, Daishowa Forest Products Ltd.



Nevertheless the boycott against Daishowa, all of Daishowa's enterprises, has been going, even though we've not been doing this. We must be the only company in the world that's the subject of a boycott which is claiming we're doing something that we're not.



Christopher



Ed Bianchi of the Friends of the Lubicon says his people are not doing anything illegal. And he says the boycott will continue. Bianchi says they'll oppose Daishowa's court action. Early next month a judge in Toronto will decide if the company gets its injunction.



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Attachment #6: Transcript of Broadcast News Report Friday, January 13, 1995





Daishowa is asking the courts to stop a national consumer boycott of its paper products by a Native lobby group. Over the last 3 years Toronto-based Friends of the Lubicon has convinced a number of companies to stop using Daishowa paper products. The group began the boycott because Daishowa cut down trees for its Peace River pulp mill on land claimed by Alberta's Lubicon Cree Indians. Daishowa has launched a lawsuit against the Friends of the Lubicon, saying it has used illegal tactics in its boycott. Company spokesman Tom Cochrane says Daishowa wants to preserve its Canadian market and protect consumers. The company claims the boycott has cost it about 20 percent of its big customers. But Friends spokesman Ed Bianchi says his group has done nothing wrong. Daishowa's lawsuit in an Ontario court seeks damages and a halt to the boycott.



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Attachment #7: Letter from the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility to Thomas Hamaoka, January 18, 1995



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Attachment #8: NOW Magazine, January 19-25, 1995



DAISHOWA PROTESTERS HIT BY COURT INJUNCTION OVER BOYCOTT



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Attachment #9: Varsity News, January 24, 1995



LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ACTIVISTS



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Attachment #10: Red Deer Advocate, January 30, 1995



LUBICON LEADERS PLEAD FOR HELP TO CONTINUE FIGHT



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Attachment #11: Gateway, January 31, 1995



DAVID AND GOLIATH: LUBICONS FACE OFF WITH MULTINATIONALS





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Attachment #12: NOW Magazine, January 26-February 01, 1995

BIRDS AND CHAINSAWS



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Attacment #13: Transcript of CKLN Saturday Morning Live interview with Friends of the Lubicon spokesman Kevin Thomas, Saturday, February 4, 1995, 11:45 am



Patrick Barnholden, CKLN News: The Lubicon Lake Nation, located about three hundred kilometres north of Edmonton, has long counted on the support of Friends of the Lubicon, a Toronto-based solidarity group. But now, Friends of the Lubicon is under attack for their solidarity work. Friends of the Lubicon is going to court this Monday to fight an injunction sought by Daishowa Paper Company of Japan. Joining me on the line today is Kevin Thomas of Friends ofis going to court this Monday to fight an injunction sought by Daishowa Paper Company of Japan. Joining me on the line today is Kevin Thomas of Friends of the Lubicon. Kevin, welcome to Saturday Morning Live.



Kevin Thomas, Friends of the Lubicon: Hi Patrick, thanks.



PB: Can you tell me first of all about the relationship of Daishowa Paper Company to the Lubicon land. What kinds of things have they done there and what are they wanting to do there now?



KT: Well the Daishowa Paper Company came on the scene in 1988. That was after already about a 50 year land rights struggle in northern Alberta carried out by the Lubicon Lake Nation to get their land rights recognized. Daishowa came on the scene and through a Forest Management Agreement, bought the rights to clearcut almost the entire unceded Lubicon territories, and that obviously raised some alarm bells with the Lubicon. So they immediately met with Daishowa and asked that they hold off on logging in that area until there was a land rights settlement. That meeting resulted in verbal agreement between the two that Daishowa would stay off the territory, however being a verbal agreement it was very easy to break. In 1990, the fall of 1990, Daishowa subcontractors and a subsidiary of Daishowa known as Brewster Construction began to clearcut in the area covered by this Forest Management Agreement and as a response to that they were told they had to leave Lubicon territories, to stay off until there was a land rights settlement. And there was a fire at one of their logging camps. The following year - they stopped logging that year - and the following year they planned to go in again and start logging. That year, the Friends of the Lubicon were asked to start a boycott campaign on Daishowa products as a way of pressuring them to stay out until a land rights settlement was reached.





PB: Now, this is not the same kind of consumer boycott that we're often familiar with. Can you tell us a bit about how this boycott was organized?



KT: That's true actually, this is a bit different because Daishowa being a paper company, they don't really sell their products directly to the consumer, to us on the street level. What they do is they sell, in this case, paper bags to other companies that we would tend to buy from like fast food restaurants or clothing stores maybe, and so we had a different kind of approach to this. What we would do is approach companies that used those products, those paper bags, and ask them to find another supplier for their paper bags on the grounds that we wanted Daishowa to make a clear, written commitment to stay out of those territories until there is a land rights settlement. And a lot of people, a lot of companies we approached were actually quite receptive. They saw that there was an issue here and that they were contravening the rights of the Lubicon Nation and they would switch their bags. Other ones would switch their paper bags just because they saw a controversy and didn't want to be involved in it over a petty issue like bags, so they would switch and join the boycott on that level. And still others would be a lot more stubborn about it and say they didn't see any reason why they should have ethics or principles and so they weren't going to change and we told them that we would take the issue to their consumers, to people like us on the street level and say, 'this company is buying bags from Daishowa, and if you're concerned about this you can pressure this company by not buying their products.' And that's been extremely successful. According to this lawsuit that's now been filed, Daishowa claims losses of $5 million so far for the last three years of the boycott and ...



PB: Well this becomes kind of a unique way to measure the success of the boycott, in that in this injunction that Daishowa is seeking against you and Friends of the Lubicon, they're actually giving a monetary value to the boycott that you've been doing.



KT: Yeah, it's good in that we do see some kind of clear indication ... they say they've lost 25% of their sales in Canada and we knew it was a large amount. 47 companies have now joined and that represents about 4,300 retail outlets in Canada. I think the figures are of course inflated for the purposes of the lawsuit but at the same time they still represent a significant effect from the boycott.



PB: Right, I mean it's unusual to experience one of these companies inflating the effect that a boycott would have on them, anyway.



KT: Yeah, that's true. I think what they are trying to do in the courts is of course prove they've had major amounts of damage and that we're terrorists of some sort, bullying them somehow. I think the major success of the boycott really is measured just by the fact that they haven't logged since it began, and every year they have to announce that they're not going to log that season because 'out of the goodness of their hearts they don't want to damage the Lubicon people'. Basically they don't want to have the boycott intensified because of their logging activities.



PB: Now this injunction though is a very serious matter, it's sort of a new tactic used against people organizing a boycott. What exactly are they saying in this thing, are they saying that there's something particular about the way you're doing this boycott?



KT: Well, they've thrown a lot of things at us, they've got some pretty high priced lawyers in on this and so what I believe they've done is they've tried to throw as many possible accusations at us as they can in the hopes that one of them's gonna stick and they'll get the injunction against us. When you first hear about it you think that trying to get an injunction preventing people from boycotting sounds absurd, but what they're trying to use is labour law. Outside of the context of a labour dispute they're trying to use labour law that says you aren't allowed to do something called "secondary picketing" where you picket outside a store that's not the one that you're actually targetting. And there's some other things, they've used some technicalities. The company that is actually launching the legal action is Daishowa Inc., which is owned by Daishowa Forest Products Ltd, which is owned by Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company, who have all these subsidiaries etcetera. The one that owns the Forest Management Agreement was Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd, and now it's been bought by Daishowa Marubeni ... it's all very complicated, but what they're trying to prove is that the company that makes the paper bags is somehow not connected to the one that's responsible for the logging, and so we're boycotting the wrong people. In the real world, of course, beyond all these corporate names, there's a very direct chain of command that goes right back to the parent company and it's ridiculous to claim they have no responsibility for what their own company is doing.



PB: Well, one wonders if they're saying one of the reasons for their opposition is you're boycotting the wrong company, would they support a boycott of the right company?



KT: That's a good question. I have a feeling they won't be too happy when we go after the other companies as well. Generally I think the main idea of this lawsuit, quite aside from just stopping the boycott, or to hurt Friends of the Lubicon or anyone who tries to support the Lubicon, I think what the main purpose is is to clear any opposition they have to the clearcutting, any opposition to their plans for that forest, and to go in and start clearcutting once the injunction's on. I'd love to be proven wrong on that but I think that's basically what's behind this. They've waited three years and they're not willing to wait any longer, and the only way they can get in there is to silence their opposition.



PB: You said earlier, Kevin, that some of the people buying bags from Daishowa, some of the other companies that are using these have shown some ethical or principled behaviour in your discussions with them in deciding not to do this anymore. It seems that what is happening with this injunction is that Daishowa is trying to demonstrate that consumers or any group in the public in the whole has no right to demand principled or ethical behaviour from any of these companies.



KT: Sure, it has implications across the board for anyone who criticizes a corporation, or tries to mount some challenge to a corporation. People for a long time have been coming up to me and saying, 'this boycott's amazing, it proves that we do have some power at the grassroots level to influence what a corporation does' and I think this injunction is about taking away that power, and if it passes then it does take away that power from everybody. One of the worst things about this injunction is that they're trying to say that we're bullying people, that we're threatening companies, that we're somehow ... we're made out to be terrorists. But the Lubicon people have had this threat every winter of logging, clearcut logging over their head for the last four years now and it's had serious effects on the community to have that constant tension, that constant buildup. You can see it every fall in the community. For them to call us, for a gigantic multinational with that kind of power to call us bullies is just ludicrous. But that's the kind of line we'll be getting from every corporation that finds people who are willing to stand up to it.



PB: Kevin, I wanted to ask you lastly and briefly, what is the position of the Lubicon Nation on this? Have they been approached by Daishowa? Are they being threatened by Daishowa at all?



KT: Well, Daishowa actually did write to the Lubicons the day they launched this action, and tried to say to them that the action was just against Friends of the Lubicon and was not meant to be a hostile action against the Lubicon Nation. Now, they're currently preparing their own response to that. But obviously anyone can see through that. It's impossible to say that you're going to wipe out somebody's support and try to wipe out a boycott that has kept this company off their land and then try to say that's not a hostile action against the people who will ultimately be hurt by the boycott lifting, hurt by the injunction. I think that's ludicrous. At the moment of course we're going through all the mechanics of getting lawyers on the case and trying to deal with the actual legal implications, but at the heart of the whole thing what we really have to remember is that the issue is the land rights of the Lubicon Nation. The clearcutting and the oil activity, all the things that are going on up there are basically - Daishowa hates when we use this word - but it's basically genocide. It's destroying a distinct aboriginal society. And whether they're the sole agents of that or just party to that, basically Daishowa's actions contribute to that and that is the issue.



PB: Kevin, thank you very much for joining us on Saturday Morning Live and I also want to wish you good luck in this court case.



KT: Thanks very much.



PB: I have been speaking to Kevin Thomas of Friends of the Lubicon here in Toronto.



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Attachment #14:

FRIENDS OF THE LUBICON



For Immediate Release February 06, 1995



Toronto Lubicon Supporters Agree to a 3-month Suspension of Boycott Activity

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(TORONTO) In the Ontario Court of Justice General Division this morning, the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon agreed to initiate a three month temporary suspension of our highly successful boycott of Daishowa products.



The boycott, now in its third year, has convinced 46 companies representing over 4,400 retail outlets to buy paper bags from alternate sources and has been instrumental in convincing Daishowa not to pursue logging on Lubicon Lake Nation territories for the past three logging seasons. Daishowa recently claimed the boycott has cost them $5 million in lost sales and has launched an application for an injunction preventing Friends of the Lubicon and named individuals from promoting the boycott.



Friends of the Lubicon has agreed to the temporary suspension in order to allow us time to prepare a legal defence against Daishowa's court action. Meanwhile, we are free to take other steps to pressure Daishowa to make a clear, unequivocal and public commitment not to log or buy wood cut on unceded Lubicon Lake Nation territories until a land rights agreement has been reached with both levels of government and a harvesting agreement has been negotiated with the Lubicons respecting their wildlife and environmental concerns.



Today's agreement commits the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon to refrain from urging the general public not to deal with Daishowa customers, to refrain from contact with Daishowa customers, and to refrain from picketing Daishowa customers, only for the period of 3 months from this date forward. And Friends of the Lubicon and Daishowa each retained the right to abrogate this agreement with 5 days notice by either party at any time.



Daishowa has timber rights to almost the entire 10,000 sq. km. unceded territory of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation of northern Alberta. The Lubicon Nation has been engaged in an intense and lengthy struggle to gain recognition of their unextinguished aboriginal land rights. Oil and gas development in the area has destroyed their traditional way of life and forced 90% of the community onto welfare. As a result, the community has suffered alcoholism, suicides, a rash of stillbirths, birth defects, a tuberculosis epidemic and continuing health and social problems. Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak has stated that "If we allow them to clearcut, we may as well sign our death certificates". Lawyers who have come forward to defend the Friends of the Lubicon are Dan Brodsky, Gerald Charney, Clayton Ruby and Harriet Sachs.



For more information please contact:



Ed Bianchi (416) 783-4694

Stephen Kenda (416) 763-7490

Kevin Thomas (416) 631-3513

for Friends of the Lubicon



or Clayton Ruby, counsel (416) 964-9664



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