Fairy Creek Timeline - May 2021

May 31st
After a quiet weekend, the RCMP resumed arrests of blockaders near the Fairy Creek watershed just outside of Port Renfrew, B.C., on Monday. Over the weekend, protesters built out a series of blockades across forestry roads, designed to obstruct RCMP access to the Fairy Creek, Waterfall and Caycuse encampments, where arrests have been taking place over the past several weeks.The RCMP made arrests at a small blockade, Monday, made of a camper van parked horizontally across the road. The Narwhal witnessed three women, two who were chained to the van, undergo arrest as observers and fellow blockaders shouted messages of support from the surrounding trees. A total of six arrests were made Monday and four vehicles were towed. Since the RCMP began enforcing a court order to clear the injunction zone and allow logging in the watershed to resume, a total of 142 people have been arrested, including nine people who have been arrested more than once.Hundreds of supporters have come out to support what were originally small protest camps, signaling the high level of public concern for B.C.’s remaining old-growth as well as the safety of blockaders who are employing tactics to outfox the RCMP. Some 20 kilometres...

away from police lines, protesters are stringing small boats and canoes high up in the tree tops of the licensed logging area in high-risk sit-ins that will be difficult for police to dismantle safely. Stay tuned for more from The Narwhal. @takeittothelinnitt #fairycreek #fairycreekblockade image.png
CanadaLand Podcast - What the police hiding at Fairy Creek? There have been dozens of arrests at Fairy Creek... but not much footage to show for it. That’s because the RCMP have been blocking and corralling journalists from freely covering the demonstrations. But according to court precedent and the RCMP’s own guidelines, journalists do have the right to be present even when there is a court injunction.So why does it keep happening? And why is it always Canada’s independent media at the forefront of this fight?
Reporter Cherise Seucharan finds out. Read a transcript of Capital Daily editor Jimmy Thomson’s full encounter with a pair of RCMP officers.
May 29th Dan Woodward - This an excerpt from the Globe & Mail
There are 13 million hectares of old forests in B.C., and as much as 80 percent of that land consists of less-productive ecosystems such as bogs or sparsely treed high elevations, which are not at risk because they are of low commercial value. The ancient, temperate rain forests – the kind that ends up featured in ad campaigns for “Super, Natural British Columbia,” are increasingly rare.
An independent study published last year found that those highly productive, intact ecosystems total just 415,000 hectares – less than 1 percent of the province’s remaining forests. “These ecosystems are effectively the white rhino of old-growth forests. They are almost extinguished and will not recover from logging,” the report from Veridian Ecological Consulting concludes.
How old are old-growth trees in B.C.?
The B.C. government defines trees on the coast that are 250 years old to be old growth. Within TFL 46 there are yellow cedars that can live for 1,500 years or more.
Nearby Pacific Rim National Park is home to the largest tree in Canada, known as the Cheewhat Giant, a Western red cedar that is more than 55 meters in height and six meters in diameter. It is estimated to be about 2,000 years old.
Why are old-growth forests important?
There is increasing recognition that biodiversity depends on intact ecosystems, and as of 2020, there were 1,680 species at risk of extinction in the province – more than any other province or territory in Canada. For B.C., the key to conserving natural biological diversity is held in protecting its old- forest lands. In 2019, the province commissioned a report on how to protect those ancient ecosystems. The authors noted that B.C. is at high risk to loss of biodiversity because of poor management of its forests. The report calls for a paradigm shift that begins with the understanding that these old-growth forests are not renewable, and can be worth more left standing than logged. It calls on the province to declare conservation of ecosystem health and biodiversity of British Columbia’s forests as an overarching priority, and enact legislation that legally establishes this priority for all sectors.
May 28th
RCMP arrest all but one at Fairy Creek blockade, protesters take it back next day

Crowds of supporters and a car of elders breached the police line

The people working to stop old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island are using inventive tactics, determination and sheer numbers to prevent the RCMP from removing them from the various blockades in the forests west of Lake Cowichan and north of Port Renfrew.

On Friday (May 28), RCMP arrested most people stationed in and around the Waterfall blockade, except for one.

He was in what the organizers have dubbed a flying dragon: a cantilever position where the person was sitting at the end of a plank suspended over a steep drop. The other end of his plank was held in place by the weight of his car.

Police were unable to remove the individual safely after hours of effort, witnesses say.

Early the following day, many protest supporters gathered at a police line on Braden forest service road blocking access to the Waterfall blockade, about 12 kilometres north of Port Renfrew. Among the hundreds was elder Bill Jones and a 17-year-old Victor Peters, whom Jones calls the true Pacheedaht First Nation hereditary chief.

Jones cut the yellow police tape, a crowd of supporters behind him, as he addressed the RCMP standing a few metres up the road.

“You’ve been draining this territory for some 200 or 300 years. You have cut all our timber with no guilt or remorse. You are invaders. And I say to you: clear the road, to escort my chief,” Jones said.

READ MORE AT https://www.interior-news.com/news/rcmp-arrest-all-but-one-at-fairy-creek-blockade-protesters-take-it-back-next-day/

May 28th 
Breaking: Two more tree-sits have snuck back into Caycuse Valley to continue to stall industry from logging the last 2.7% of low elevation old growth. RCMP will be likely be required to re-mobilize their highly expensive and resource-intensive heli-extraction operations, for which they have been deploying a specialized team to carry out.
During the previous seven tree-sit removals, RCMP denied access to media and legal observers during critical moments, such as when loggers began felling nearby, or when their own officers began shooting live rounds at an unoccupied tree-sit in the vicinity of occupied ones. RCMP also denied media and L.O.’s when extracting sitters by helicopter, and threatened sitters with rubber bullets and tear gas.
Follow @the.active.advocate for videos from their tree-sit. Also follow @auntie.katigeorgejim @dreamsincoastal @hesquiahtqueer @fairycreekblockade @rainforestflyingsquad @braidedwarriors @indiginews @wetsuweten_checkpoint @stand.earth
#fairycreekblockade #indigenousland #indigenous #indigenoussovereignty #oldgrowthforest #bigtrees

May 26th
Canadian news organizations file legal action for press freedom at Fairy Creek
The Canadian Association of Journalists, along with a coalition of news organizations including The Narwhal, are demanding the RCMP ensure journalists fair access to demonstrations and arrests taking place at old-growth logging blockades on Vancouver Islandhttps://thenarwhal.ca/bc-old-growth-fairy-creek-press-freedom-legal-action/

May 25th
https://twitter.com/ricochet_en/status/1397223536742342658 WATCH: The Horgan govt promised to save what few old-growth trees remain in B.C. Instead, they're letting logging companies raze ancient forests. Over 50 activists have been arrested as they make a last stand for the trees. Our team is on the ground and made this report. #bcpoli image.png

May 24th
Terry Dance-Bennink

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS organized a great protest that drew 400+ more people to the BC Leg today, hours after a similar Parents for Climate rally opposed to old growth logging.  These young voters are fed up with the NDP government’s betrayal of its election promise to stop old growth logging.  “Old growth is irreplaceable but John Horgan is not!” read one sign.
Several indigenous speakers reminded us that “It’s about more than just the trees.”  The destruction of unceded land and Indigenous sovereignty are the real issues, Tiffany Joseph stressed.  “Our indigenous children could be taken away from us if we go to the blockades,” she said.  “The cops were trained to hate us.  You white settlers are allies today, but you need to learn about this and what your ancestors did to us.”
A Mohawk sister shared the pain she felt watching Indigenous and white police wearing moose-hide pins arrest Indigenous elders.  “I could see tears in their eyes.”
An Indigenous man from Alert Bay, just back from the Caycuse blockade, told us “the same things are happening in my territory and the Council is straying from our traditional ways.”  He urged us to be calm and collected and act from love.  
“100 people have now crossed the RCMP’s illegal exclusion zone and we will continue to defy it,” said Bobbie Arbess from the Rainforest Flying Squad.  “34 soccer fields of old growth are being logged each day on the Island alone,” he said.
The fiddle group, Coastline, rounded off a day of unity and determination to force the government to intervene.  Call John Horgan every day at 250-387-1715.

May 22nd
Diary of a forest defender, part II: Six hours in a hot paddy wagon
https://www.focusonvictoria.ca/forests/65/ON SATURDAY, MAY 22, I WAS STANDING PEACEFULLY before an RCMP roadblock set up near the intersection of Caycuse Main and Maclure Main, with 100 citizens. We were warming our hearts around a sacred fire, bearing witness as a young Pacheedaht woman sang in her own language, songs of healing and resistance, in response to being savagely beaten by three male white police.

It was a powerful and moving moment.

The young woman put her drum down, and explained that she had just been ordered to leave the public space we stood in, because the RCMP had arbitrarily declared it to be an “exclusion zone” around the injunction against active logging in Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 46.

Citizens protesting the legality of the RCMP exclusion zone at Caycuse (photograph supplied anonymously)

Because the active logging was 9 miles away, and the injunction specifically states “50 metres from active logging and machinery,” she told us that she considered these exclusion zones, which are meant to protect citizens at crime scenes, to be an abuse of police discretion. She wished to exercise her rights and freedoms under the Charter and “stand here.”Read more at https://www.focusonvictoria.ca/forests/65/
May 21st
"...Trees being fallen..."
May 20th 
Terry Dance-Bennink
“DO YOUR JOB, HORGAN!” we cried out today, as we took to Victoria’s streets yet again in solidarity with those arrested for defending ancient forests. The RCMP has now pulled 21 people from the woods and charged them, including a journalist. The six hour action today attracted a couple of hundred people, most of them young, and was organized by Urban Actions for Ancient Forests.

“We need indigenous sovereignty, not white tears,” said several Indigenous women speakers who were visibly angry at the colonial violence their people have suffered for centuries. They urged us settlers to delve deep into our own forms of white supremacy and privilege, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

“Don’t focus on yourselves and single acts of martyrdom like getting arrested,” they said. “Support the land back movement and Indigenous sovereignty.”

To warm us up, we listened to live rap musicians and the Raging Grannies, and watched a dozen people paint a fantastic mural of a tree on the sidewalk entitled “worth more standing”. Artist Jeremy Herndl posed with his gorgeous oil painting of a mother tree with the Legislature as background.

Smoke bombs went off as we occupied the street for two hours, but we let the transit buses through! We each signed the letter to Environment Minister Heyman simply entitled “Do your job!”

Young women and a six year old girl tried to deliver it in person to the Ministry of Environment, but were repeatedly denied entrance, despite loud knocks on the glass door. So we marched over to the Legislature to see if Horgan would open up. After repeated calls for someone to receive our letter, a security official came out and accepted it. “This is called democracy”, we chanted in disgust.

The photos below tell the rest of the story. Stay tuned for continued acts of resistance, until this NDP government honours its election promises.

The fight in Fairy Creek continues. We stand behind all efforts to protect our ancient forests. Without our help, old growth logging will destroy our environment and hundreds of
irreplaceable trees. Head to @fairycreekblockade to find out how you can support. Photo: @islander642 #UnbuildWithUs

May 19th 

To all, to whom it may concern and the RCMP:
Stopping and holding people, whether a Canadian Citizen, a First Nations person or any free person in Canada, stopping free access to Crown land is illegal.  Stopping free persons from using public roads is illegal and stopping private access for legal purposes such as spiritual quest or recreational camping on Crown land is illegal.
This is especially true considering the Enforcement Order where there are strict instructions from the issuing Justice.  The RCMP are overstepping their authority.
I am seeking legal counsel to address the RCMP's slipshod handling of the court ordered instructions as laid out in the Enforcement Order.
Let's gather in Caycuse to prevent the RCMP from violating our human and legal rights.
Your servant
William Jones
Pacheedaht First Nation

Colocation 101
BC legislation requires each cut block to have a Wildlife Tree Retention Area - which is a small patch of trees to be left standing in the cut block to maintain biodiversity. HOWEVER there is a big loophold in the legislation and it's called Colocation. Learn all about it here. https://fb.watch/5ScA_bwL3x/

May 6th
BC Forestry Reform - by Forest March BC

The Rainforest Flying Squad said it set up a "watch camp" at the site as part of the group's "nonviolent direct action to protect old-growth forests" near Port Renfrew, which includes Fairy Creek. "This camp is not a blockade" the activists say.
The Rainforest Flying Squad said it is no longer naming its members because Teal Jones, which holds Tree Farm Licence in the Fairy Creek area, has started serving court papers to individuals who have been identified in the media.The group said forestry workers drove into the watch camp in four trucks with muddied licence plates.  
"They threatened us and our families," said one activist in a statement. "The men walked towards the four youth in the camp, racially targeting the Indigenous youth. While all youth were threatened, the physical violence and verbal abuse was explicitly anti-Indigenous."
The Rainforest Flying Squad said it wasn't the first encounter with logging crews. The group alleged that Monday afternoon, a group of forestry workers made threats to three people while holding axes, tire irons and crow bars.
In the same afternoon on the same road, several protesters in their vehicles were blocked in and prevented from leaving by forestry vehicles for a period of time.
The following day, on a separate road, trees were felled across the road to prevent them from moving, say the Rainforest Flying Squad.
"At no time has [Rainforest Flying Squad] been violent or promoted violence, the group said. "These attacks have been fueled by industry and colonialism, encouraged by the NDP government's failure to act by deferring threatened old growth forests from logging."
Elder William Jones, a member of the Pacheedaht First Nation, called the assault a "racist" act. Kati George-Jim, Jones' niece, said Indigenous people were targeted with violence for disrupting industry 
"The loggers broke our laws, and they broke colonial law as well," she said. "The fundamental laws of our coastal peoples are based in reciprocity and respect for all relatives, and consensual relationships. We honour all past, present and future generations by protecting the integrity of our shared mother earth."

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