This article was first published in The Viking News, March 10, 2004, a bi-weekly publication of the State University of New York, Westchester Community College.
By Taffy Lee Williams
Who cares about the environment these days? How about the 75-year old granny who received a 6-month prison term for protesting the logging of ancient Elaho, Clayquot and Walbran forests on Vancouver Island?
When interviewed, 75-year old Betty Krawczyk said, "I find there is a lot of camaraderie in prison."
The famous forest defender was arrested in May, 2003, as she stood in the middle of a logging road in the Walbran Valley, preventing access by Weyerhauser logging trucks to the ancient old-growth forests. Krawczyk refused to move even when ordered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
After receiving her 6-month prison sentence at the Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women, the feisty grandma explained, "I don't apply for parole because, if I did, I would have to promise that I wouldn't go back into the forests for some designated length of time. I just refuse to do that."
Kraczyk hopes her protest group will attract more elderly activists for a "Grandmas' Brigade" which will take a front line position in future forest actions.
"I don't consider myself a martyr. I consider myself as a sort of conduit for people concerned about what's happening to the earth's beautiful resources."
Kindred-spirits at SUNY-WCC say, "Go, Granny!"
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