Stoltmann protesters to sue attackers
Three of the protesters claiming to have been injured in last month’s alleged attack on a protest camp in the Elaho Valley have filed a joint law suit against Interfor and Interfor employees.
The Statement of Claim, filed on Oct. 26 by the Vancouver law firm of Harbottle & Company alleges that the defendant companies International Forest Products Ltd. (Interfor), Elaho Logging Ltd., and B.R. Adam Ltd. are liable for an assault on protesters by approximately 100 of their employees.
James Jamieson of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Stoltmann Wilderness campaigners Bryce Gilroy-Scott and Sharai Mustatia are claiming aggravated and punitive damages for injuries sustained during the Sept. 15 incident. In addition, they allege approximately $20,000 worth of communications equipment, camping gear and personal items were destroyed by the assailants.
Jamieson is alleging that his shirt was torn off, that he was thrown down an embankment and his fingers were wrenched in different directions resulting in torn cartilage and muscle tissue in his left hand. He also alleges that his attackers threatened to smash his head in with a rock.
Gilroy-Scot is alleging that he was thrown to the ground and hit in the head with fists and elbows, hit in the kidney area with fists elbows and feet, and that attackers jumped on his knees and legs. He also alleges that his attackers threatened to kill him.
Mustatia is alleging that she was thrown to the ground, crushed against the ground by her attackers' knees and feet, kicked in the face, hit in the face and head with their fists and elbows, and that she suffered injuries to her neck and arms as a result of her attackers' forcibly removing her camera strap. She also alleges that her attackers threatened to rape and kill her.
According to Jamieson, of the eight protesters who were assaulted, only these three had injuries to the extent that they required emergency hospital attention. "I still can't use my hand to play guitar or drive," said Jamieson in a satellite phone call. He is currently back in the Stoltmann Wilderness area conducting a tree survey.
Although he has been planning the civil suit since the day the incident took place, Jamieson says that the money from the suit is the furthest thing from his mind. "I have better things to do with my life for the next three years. I'm just sick of these guys. This has been going on since they beat people up in 1994 at Ure Creek. I was beaten up for the first time in 1997. It has to end."
The RCMP have yet to lay any charges in the incident and spokespersons for Interfor are denying it ever happened.
Jamieson is upset that the RCMP haven't made any progress in the investigation, but says that a lot is going to come out during the discovery process. "They destroyed most of the evidence, but we have about 14 pictures taken just before the attack got going that will corroborate our story."
The next step is for the courts to process summons' for the defendant companies and the defendant employees named in the suit. Seven people are named in the suit while others have yet to be identified.