On Friday Aug 16, 2019, Rita was sentenced to 28 days in prison by the BC Supreme Court. She, alongside other brave water and land protectors, have been taking a stance on unceded Coast Salish Territories against the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. This work is being done with Indigenous communities and allies to resist colonial imperialism and to achieve climate justice.
Legal proceedings have been ongoing since her arrest on Burnaby Mountain on Aug 24, 2018. Rita’s legal representation mounted a defense of climate necessity, which was rejected by judge Kenneth Affleck.
Rita has tirelessly worked for decades in solidarity with and toward justice for the most under-served members of communities; locally, nationally and abroad. Her generosity has been experienced by countless people. As friends and allies, Hiromi and Lee wanted to set up this fund so that we could give back to Rita a little of what she has shared with so many. There is an existing group legal defense fund set up for water protectors. But it has a $5000 individual cap. We know Rita—it’s very unlikely she’s drawn heavily from a communal fund. Lawyer fees are high. And there are always other costs to doing the work that Rita does. If any of you have the capacity to donate toward Rita’s legal fees it is greatly appreciated. Any funds in excess of her still-mounting legal expenses will be donated to the Mountain Protectors to continue the work she and others have been doing to protect water, land, people and the ecosystem.
As we get more detailed information on Rita’s legal costs, the campaign goal may be adjusted. No amount is too small and any help you can lend sharing this campaign will be gratefully accepted.
For more information:
- William Lindsay
- Laura Moss
- Paul Sanborn
- Elizabeth MacKenzie
- Maria Pelova
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