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Second farm protester sued for blockade

A second Richmond farmer is being sued for blockading a Finn Road farm over a road project.

Bill Jones of Bill Jones Horticulture Inc., the leaseholder of 9360 Finn Rd., filed a statement of claim in small claims court Feb. 8 against Bob Featherstone, a local farmer who participated the eight-day blockade.

As reported in The Richmond Review last week, Jones is also suing Ray Galawan, a retired farmer who is continuing to protest the use of concrete and asphalt to build a road through the property, which Jones intends to develop into a tree nursery.

Jones is seeking damages “for economic loss due to the illegal blockade,” and “for loss of reputation and disparagement due to the defamatory statements” made against him.

The maximum award for each suit in small claims court is $25,000.

The blockade began Jan. 16 as an attempt to halt a project to build a farm road using broken concrete and asphalt. It ended Jan. 24, but a roadside demonstration has continued.

Protesters see the farm road as unnecessary fill—labelling some of it “toxic”—that’s occupying food growing soil. Jones, however, has said he intends to put the land to good use by starting a tree nursery, which is a permitted use of agricultural land.

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