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General News · 17th May 2011
An Educational Community Workshop
Calling all Cortesians !!!
… grannies & gramps, the idly curious, the philosophically inclined, the young & not-so-young, the timid & the bold…
Shrink the demon of civil disobedience.
Celebrate its long and successful history.

• Immerse yourself in the philosophy, roots, lore, heroes & heroines of civil disobedience.
• Discuss the components of a civil disobedience campaign and support roles for Islanders.
• Become informed on the law in British Columbia.

11am – 4pm, Saturday, May 28 at Linnaea School

This workshop is being presented by Kel Kelly (community organizer, facilitator, environmental activist with Friends of Clayoquot and Friends of Strathcona Park) AND joined by Norleen Lillico (teacher, activist with Friends of Clayoquot).

Suggested donation - $15 - $20 Lisa Jo lunch (additional)

Community input and discussion around Island Timberland’s recent refusal to accept the SRD full assessment value offer for purchase of the Whaletown Commons will be most welcome.

“… activism represents nothing so much as informed, passionate and engaged citizenry.” -from Watchdogs and Gadflies

The future of much of the private forest lands on Cortes Island is in doubt. Many people in the Cortes community are concerned about the protection of the island’s watersheds and forests, but there is not yet a community consensus on how to effectively achieve that.

The recent rejection by Island Timberlands of a Regional District offer to purchase the Whaletown Commons leaves many wondering about what constructive steps to take next.

One of the tools that some people want to learn more about is peaceful civil disobedience. Mysterious and scary to many people, this democratic tool has a long and proud history in British Columbia. Far from being a “fringe” activity, peaceful civil disobedience has been used in mainstream economic, social and environmental campaigns for generations.

This workshop is an introduction to the heroes, history and ideas behind peaceful citizen protest, as well as an educational primer to the current laws regarding civil disobedience and the components that make up every campaign.

The workshop will also explain citizens’ rights and responsibilities in relation to being arrested, and hold a conversation on the pros and cons of risking arrest.

“ We want to be sure people know that civil disobedience is so much more than being arrested”, says Kel Kelly, one of the facilitators for the workshop. “The list of actions that people can take before risking arrest is long and important. There is room in a peaceful civil disobedience campaign for many people with different skills and ideas. The key ingredient of these campaigns is the “peace” part, not the “disobedience” part.”

Kel, a longtime environmental activist and community organizer (and occasional arrestee), will be co-facilitating the workshop with Norleen Lillico, a Cortes Islander and teacher with roots in civil disobedience training that go back to the blockades at Clayoquot Sound.

“We are really looking forward to coming to Cortes”, say the pair. “We invite everyone in the community to join us for an informative, safe and friendly discussion on this time-honoured tradition.”

for further information contact Kel at or Norleen at