Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 6 – An Eagle Feather
From the field journal of Anthony Marr
June 8, 1996, Sat.
[15:44 @ George and Cathy Gibson’s residence in Nanaimo]
Yesterday’s event in Tofino, organized by a woman named Marika, was the most successful so far, with about 40 people attending, and zero hunters as far as I could tell. We signed up easily 25 people as volunteer canvassers on the spot, who also took application forms to pass on to their friends. A young Indian maiden named Giselle – probably of Nuu Chah Nulth lineage since I was walking on their ancestral land – gave me an eagle feather as a reward.
After my presentation, Julie Draper – one of the Bear Watch founders, gave a short speech and showed a short video called Fun Kill… Bear Watch infused about $10,000 start-up funds for the project a few weeks back… Bear Watch is a direct action group whose members would follow the hunters into logging roads and, when the hunters made ready to shoot a bear, the Bear Watch people would blast their car horns or blow their whistles to scare away the bear. Recently, however, just last week or two as a matter of fact, it back fired on them. A group of four Bear Watch women were lured in their car via logging roads into a secluded spot near Campbell River and surrounded by hunter vehicles so they could not escape. A hunter jumped on to their hood and smashed their wind shield with an axe handle. The women kept their car doors locked and video cams rolling. The footage was later aired on BCTV. In a similar incident which happened right in Campbell River itself, near a police station as a matter of fact, the police refrained to intervene when a group of Bear Watch women were being harassed by hunters. Campbell River, being farther north, is a hunter-dominated town.
When WCWC sat down with Bear Watch’s Jan Theunisz to discuss terms of the Bear Watch donation, Jan suggested that we don’t publicize it and keep WCWC and Bear Watch separate in the public eye, for tactical reasons. This made it a little awkward for me, because deep in my heart, I applaud what Bear Watch does, but on the other hand, could not publicly condone their illegal or legally-borderline activities. So, several times, especially in Campbell River, when hunters questioned me regarding WCWC’s involvement with Bear Watch, I disclaimed personal involvement with Bear Watch, which was true. It was also true to the extent that Bear Watch is not directly involved in the campaign. I greatly admire what they do, but my role in bear protection is the Bear Referendum champion.
Billeting was arranged by a 21 year old woman volunteer and member of Friends of Clayoquot Sound called Dana, to be at the Friends’ office. I am honoured, because this requires a certain amount of trust. WCWC’s office, for example, is full of sensitive information not for public consumption.
We did have the option to go back to Eric-and-Diana’s place, or go to Annette-and-Scott’s. Erica preferred the latter, and I had no objection. So, despite the lateness and the twisty nature of the highway, we started back the way we came. At the last moment, Erica came down with severe pain in her lower abdomen. I drove her to the Tofino hospital, where she was treated by a young female doctor called Joan Hrady, who recognized me from a time past, who did look familiar to me. We had a warm little visit. By the time my car actually hit the road, it was 00:15, and by the time we finally arrived at Scott and Antenna’s in Qualicum it was almost 04:00. Erica slept most of the way, but for me, it was another four-hour sleep night. I don’t know how long I can last this way. Already, I feel somewhat mentally sluggish. A psychologist says that sleep deprivation is cumulative, and each hour short is one IQ point lowered. According to this, at this rate, over the last couple of weeks at least, my IQ must have dropped by at least 50 points down to 150!
“So, you think you’re pretty smart, don’t you?” Raminothna asked me.
“I was just kidding.,” I said solemnly, but couldn’t help adding, “Even if I slept 12 hours a night, my IQ wouldn’t go much higher than 190. Evolution hasn’t pushed an average guy like me past 200, yet.”
“The goal of evolution is higher and higher intelligence, is that what you’re saying?” asked Raminothna.
“It does seem to be one of its goals.”
“Is it the highest goal?”
“What is it then?”
“The goal of intelligence,” said Raminothna.
Today, we were supposed to attend a BC Federation of Naturalists meeting at noon in Nanaimo, but by the time we arrived it was 12:30. Their luncheon was over and the chairperson Tony Embleton gave us the cold shoulder. A couple of women did talk to us to keep it from being a complete wash out.
Tomorrow, being Sunday, Erica made no appointment. May as well. I can catch up on my sleep, and make phone calls to make up for lost time.
Good night, Christopher.
The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)