Aug 28/97: Daishowa Boycott on Trial


Month-long Trial to Decide Legality of Consumer Boycotts

Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto)
Thursday, August 28, 1997

Trial starts September 2, 1997, 10:00 am
Opening day rally Tuesday Sep. 2, 8:30 - 9:45 am
Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

(TORONTO) An Ontario Court will be deciding on the limits of consumer boycott campaigns and freedom of expression in a landmark trial beginning September 2.

Friends of the Lubicon, a small Toronto group supporting the Lubicon Cree Nation of northern Alberta, are being taken to court by Daishowa Inc. The company is seeking a permanent injunction which would prevent the Friends from telling customers of stores, which use Daishowa bags, where their money is going.

The court action is in response to a six-year boycott campaign against Daishowa products. Daishowa Inc. is part of the Daishowa group of companies led by the giant Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company Co. Ltd. of Japan. The focus of the campaign is to pre vent the Daishowa group from acting on the licence they bought to clear-cut contested Native lands in northern Alberta. Since the boycott began, Daishowa has been held back from clear-cutting Lubicon lands.

Daishowa claims the boycott has cost them over $11 million. With the boycott in effect, 47 companies representing over 4,300 retail outlets in Canada chose alternative suppliers for their paper products. Daishowa obtained a temporary injunction against t he boycott in January, 1996. They are now trying to permanently outlaw the boycott and squeeze damages out of boycott volunteers. Defendant Kevin Thomas says "the trial will be a pitched battle between freedom of expression and Aboriginal land rights on the one hand and the right of corporations to do whatever the hell they want to whoever they want on the other."

The trial will span fifteen days during the month of September starting on Tuesday the 2nd.

The Friends will be holding a support rally and opening prayer at Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 am on Tuesday Sep 2. Recently-elected United Church Moderator Bill Phipps will give an opening address and a representative of the Lubicon Lake Cree will be present.

For more information please contact:

Friends of the Lubicon (416) 763-7500 or FoL defendant Kevin Thomas at cell phone (416) 209-6186 Karen Wristen, Sierra Legal Defence Fund at (416) 368-7533 Lubicon Lake Nation Chief Bernard Ominayak at (403) 629-3945
To receive regular e-mail updates about the trial, send an e-mail to and include in the body of the e-mail the command:
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Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto)
485 Ridelle Ave
Toronto, ON M6B 1K6
Tel: 416-763-7500
Fax: 416-603-2715

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