The forthcoming legal battle between Norwegian multinational Marine Harvest and Alexandra Morton (named as a Defendant along with "John Doe, Jane Doe and other persons") could make for a packed courtroom.
Judging by video footage of what Marine Harvest has described as a "trespass" and "private nuisance" in their Notice of Civil Claim, the number of Defendants could easily exceed 25 people including First Nation chiefs, native leaders, warrior women and children. This image taken at Marine Harvest's Midsummer Island salmon farm (one of the three salmon farms cited in Marine Harvest's Notice of Civil Claim) shows at least 25 people:
And here's a close-up showing First Nation chiefs and native leaders engaged in what Marine Harvest claim to be "trespass":
The Defendants include elders:
As well as women:
Watch video footage online via Musgamagw Dzawada'enuwx Occupy Marine Harvest Fish Farm and Marine Harvest Occupy
"Where did you get your authorization to be in this territory?" asked Dzawada’enuxw First Nation Hereditary Chief Willie Moon. "This area you're talking about belongs to the Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx people. We've never ever given you the right to come and take over our territory. You're here illegally."
"We're here because we have every right to be here," says another First Nations leader. "This is our territory and has been so for at least 13,000 years. Our roots go deep within these waters, deep within these territories."
"So we're here under our authority. Our law has been here way before British law even got here. So to ask us to try and protect your interests here in our territory is disrespectful."
Marine Harvest's Notice of Civil Claim includes:
Marine Harvest's Notice of Civil Claim describes the events at the mass "trespass" at Midsummer Island:
One of the so-called "trespassers" may offer a different interpretation to the court.
"You can tell me all you want that we're trespassing," said Dzawada’enuxw First Nation Hereditary Chief Willie Moon at a similar 'eviction' at Cermaq's Sir Edmund salmon farm. "You're trespassing on our territory without our consent to be on our land. Don't tell my people we don't have a right to this"
At another 'eviction' at Cermaq's Burdwood Islands salmon farm, Dzawada’enuxw First Nation Hereditary Chief Willie Moon said in a video shot by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (in response to a Cermaq employee telling him he was trespassing):
"Well you have no authority on our lands. As the Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw Nation - you are trespassing. We have never given you the rights to be in our territory. So don't tell me I don't have rights on this farm"
For more details on the 'eviction notices' read CBC News
CBC News also reported:
Meanwhile, Marine Harvest claim that they have the law on their side. Vincent Erenst, Managing Director, Marine Harvest Canada said in a press release announcing the legal action: "We cannot stand by and allow individuals to ignore the law and trespass on our facilities."
It will be interesting to see how a Norwegian multinational (owned by Cypriot-based Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen along with Clearstream Banking and J.P. Morgan Bank in Luxembourg, State Street Bank & Trust in the USA and Canada, Citibank in the USA, Jupiter European Fund in Great Britain ans various Norwegian investment funds) intends to prove "trespass" against native leaders who have aboriginal title, indigenous rights, 13,000 years of history and the law on their side.
At least Marine Harvest's largest shareholder, John Fredriksen, has money on his side. In March 2016, Fredriksen made over $500 million from selling 8.4% of Marine Harvest.
Marine Harvest's main man is worth over $9 Billion according to Forbes:
Read more about Marine Harvest's largest shareholder via "The Life and Times of John Fredriksen - Putin's "Bagman" in London"
Fredriksen was profiled by Forbes magazine as a 'Viking Raider' in a 2001 article which included:
Reuters also quote a shipping industry source that Fredriksen "is not someone who likes to follow rules":
It remains to be seem if this "massive chancer" will be victorious against Alexandra Morton, Chief Willie Moon and the band of First Nation leaders and native warriors cited in Marine Harvest's Notice of Civil Claim. Whatever the case, it seems Marine Harvest has chosen to fight not just Alexandra Morton but the five nations of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw.
"Our people have spoken. We want salmon farms out of our territory," said chief councillor Willie Moon last month in a report by DeSmog Canada. “I just told them they were trespassing and we had every right to be there. This land belongs to our people".
If John Fredriksen and the other shareholders in Marine Harvest want to know who they are fighting then they should read the Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx Nation's web-site:
"The Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx Nation have stood in opposition to fish farms in their territory for nearly 30 years. Since time immemorial they have protected their salmon and herring for future generations. Our people have spoken. All open net fish farms must be removed from our territories. We call upon you to stand beside us! The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw in collaboration with Sea Shepherd and Alexandra Morton call for your support as we, in assertion of our indigenous rights, deliver a message to remove fish farms from our traditional territories to the governments of British Columbia and Canada."
For the moment, it seems that Alexandra Morton is the only person who has been served legal papers (here's her reaction on Facebook):
Who's standing with her?