Apology for Plan B
In The Guardian on February 5th, I read that Darcie Lanthier plead guilty and was fined in court for her part in the protest of the TCH 'Plan B' project last October. And as a condition of her fine she was told to write apology letters to the arresting officer and the project workers. As a show of support for Darcie, I'd love to share some apologies of my own.
Dear arresting RCMP officer,
It is with a heavy heart and muddy boots that I write to apologize that you had to carry me out of the woods that day in October when I sat on the ground to exercise my right to dissent in a non-violent manner. Sorry that you got muddy, got hit by flying pieces of wood as the buncher/feller operated closely behind us, had to call for help to carry me out, and subsequently filled out the paperwork incorrectly which resulted in my charges later being dismissed. But I hope you rest easy knowing that those woods no longer stand, and you'll not have to carry me out of them ever again.
Dear Equipment Operator,
I'm sorry that I cared so much about the Acadian Forest you were mowing down, for exchanging pleasantries as you exited your machine and left for the day and sorry for having been forced to do the last thing I could think of in an effort to show this gov't that people on PEI will not continue to be ignored. I'm am also very sorry you were not the one operating the machinery on all the other days but that other men who decided to use the machinery in a show of force and intimidation were let to take the controls. I am sure you will find work on future TCH projects, and it will be a pleasure to meet you once again.
Dear Mr. Premier,
I'm sorry, but because of Islanders like Darcie Lanthier I will be glad to stand (or sit) in support of protests that seek to protect our Island way of life.
Dear Darcie and all those who opposed Plan B,
I am sorry, but I will never regret joining you in protesting the TCH Plan B project. It was one of the most important things I have ever done.
It's not lost on me also that our Premier has not apologized for putting Islanders through Plan B. That ordinary Islanders had to find themselves furious that a Premier would even suggest plowing down lands that were donated to the province after a person's death. That ordinary Islanders had to sit through meetings that they thought were consultations, but really were only information sessions. That ordinary Islanders had to find themselves roadside, early in the morning, day after day after day before the Sun, planting their sign 'Stop Plan B' along the roadside and getting honks of support from the travelling public. That ordinary Islanders had to grab their camping gear, abandon their family and pitch a tent in the woods, pee in the woods, eat in the woods and be kept awake all night be a really loud (but lovely) stream. That ordinary Islanders had to find themselves baking/cooking food and carting it into the woods to feed campers who were occupying the woods that were to be mowed down for the highway. That ordinary Islanders had to find themselves ditching work, using up spare evenings, use their lunchhour, to drive madly to the Plan B sight to bring supplies, and to help protect the woods. That ordinary Islanders had to tweet and post status updates and check email on an hour by hour basis ... wait ...
Maybe we should turn the tables and thank him. You heard me. Take the high road. Stop seeing everything that happened as a failure. Sure we didn't stop that road, that pretty good road, but we did do something.
Thank you Robert Ghiz, for cementing many new Islanders as 'involved Islanders'. Thank you for waking us up to the passion and determination of other ordinary Islanders.Thank you for making us see that letting a government run without a direct connection to the public, for too long ... results in a gov't that NEVER connects with the public on any meaningful level ... ever. Thank you for making me get off my ass and camp in the woods and meet people I might otherwise never have met, some pretty fucking great people. Thank you for all but ensuring there is now a larger group then ever of people willing to fight, to share their opinions publicly, to act when otherwise they might have been afraid to do so, to come together and support friends and strangers. A larger group of people who are now looking forward and preparing, rather than being content to react. A group of people now committed to protecting our Island way of life, and doing whatever it takes ... whatever it takes.
For that Mr. Ghiz, you do not need to apologize. That's my take-away from Plan B. And it's not so bad. I feel pretty confident (and take great comfort) that your take-away will be much much worse.
www.WatchPEI.org - born out of the Stop Plan B opposition - for the Love of PEI
PUBLIC MONITORS are still on the Plan B site