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Anti Trophy Hunting
Bear hunting foe attacked in city

1998-01-21
The Vancouver Sun                   

by Stephen Hume

BC environmentalist Anthony Marr is recovering after being beaten by a burly man who said, “Let this be a lesson to you.”

 

[Newspaper Photo] Caption: Beaten but unbowed – Anthony Marr says he is undeterred in his campaign despite beating.

 

An environmentalist known for his opposition to bear hunting and the black market for animal parts was recovering Tuesday after being attacked in Vancouver’s West End.

 

Anthony Marr said he was waylaid about 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 1600 block of Haro Street as he made his way to his car after a dinner with his parents at their home.

 

Environmental groups have been complaining about a sharp increase in threats of physical violence directed at their members…

 

 “I was parked in the lane”, Marr said. “There was this guy waiting for me by my car. He advanced a few steps and said, ‘Are you Anthony Marr?’ I said yes and he immediately attacked me.”

 

Marr… said his assailant was “over six feet and around 200 pounds” and rained blows upon his head and face, fracturing facial bones and damaging his eye socket.

 

“Then he said, ‘Let this be a lesson to you,’ and walked off,” Marr said.

 

The University of British Columbia Hospital confirmed that Marr was admitted and treated in the emergency ward shortly after 7:30 p.m.. Vancouver city police confirmed receiving his report of the attack about 8:40 p.m..

 

Marr recently led a controversial and widely publicized Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaign to have bear hunting banned in BC.

 

He has also been active in successfully pressuring government for controls in the black market on endangered species parts in the Asian community…

 

Marr’s silver 1993 Mazda sports car and its license plate became well known during the anti-hunting campaign, he says.

 

Marr drove 12,000 kilometers and visited almost every significant community in BC during the summer of 1996, holding public and private meetings that laid the groundwork for a province-wide initiative petition towards driving a referendum vote on banning bear hunting.

 

Campaigners obtained 93,000 signatures in a 90-day blitz that mobilized 1,800 volunteers, but fell well short of the 250,000 or 10 percent of the electorate - needed to force government action under recall and initiative legislation.

 

The petition campaign, however, gave Marr a high media profile.

 

He said he was constantly harassed by pro-hunting (forces). Pickup trucks tailgated his car and he received anonymous threats of violence by phone.

 

“My reaction is that it merely strengthens my resolve to continue with this campaign…”

 

Paul George, a director of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, described the attack on Marr as “deplorable” and said it was time for police and government to take seriously the “threats of violence and all the rhetoric that our people are subjected to.”

 

“I think this [violent rhetoric] unleashes hate against environmentalists just as much as it does against Jews or people of a different sexual persuasion or anything like that,” George said.

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