In the latest of a series of such incidents involving supporters of the defendants in the Ts'peten (Gustafsen Lake) trial, a vehicle used to transport Margaret Clark, the wife of jailed native rights lawyer Bruce Clark, was torched just yards away from where she lay sleeping. The burning of the late model Ford Escort will be added to the cut brake lines of Ts'peten Defenders' Spokesperson Splitting the Sky's vehicle, which almost resulted in a fatal crash on a steep mountain highway, and the loosened lug nuts on the wheels of a vehicle used to transport Kootenai elder Bill Lightbown, also Defenders' Spokesperson, and Haida elder Lavina White.
This latest instance of harassment and intimidation was remarked upon by one of the investigating officers who stated to his companion that he'd "never seen a car torched in this area," referring to the quiet residential neighborhood of Burnaby, BC.
The officers' preliminary investigation suggested that a "molotov cocktail" may have been used. "So you have a few enemies?" asked the cop. A supporter was heard to mutter that perhaps the arson team "should talk to Gary Bass," head of RCMP "serious crimes unit" involved in the Gustafsen Lake standoff in the summer of 1995. Just another day in the ongoing saga of Gustafsen Lake.
Ts'peten Defence Committee Spokespeople:
Splitting the Sky - Phone/Fax: (604) 543-9661
Bill Lightbown - Phone: (604) 251-4949
Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]
Wednesday, March 12, 1997: front page
Burnaby RCMP are blaming a random act of violence for a fire bombing at the local home of a Gustafsen Lake activist.
A Molotov Cocktail was thrown into the front seat of a vehicle parked in the 6000 block Suncrest Drive home of Rev. Joshua Lemmens March 6.
The incident occurred while the wife of lawyer Bruce Clark slept inside the home on the night before her husband's first day of testimony in the case.
"We believe it's a random act," Burnaby RCMP Sgt. Don Brown said Monday. "I guess there's always the possibility of some connection (to the court case) but we have no clues or suspects."
Although the Burnaby NOW was unable to reach members of the Ts'peten Defence Committee, a support group for the people on trial in the Gustafsen Lake stand-off, a press release from the organization alleges this was the fifth vehicle vandalized since the trial began.
In the four previous incidence, the group alleges several people nearly died when the vehicles were subsequently involved in accidents.