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      Sensing loss—in Beacon Hill Park and Downtown

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      Bowker Creek Brush Up Art Show

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      Sensing loss—in Beacon Hill Park and Downtown

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      Thinking about the heatwave: forget magical thinking; decarbonize now

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      Teal Cedar’s big, dirty secret

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      Major victory for forest defenders: BC judge upholds right of public access at Fairy Creek

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      The Canadian Standards Association's use of the word "sustainable" to describe forestry operations is an abuse of the English language

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      BC’s new old-growth advisory panel “a glimmer of hope” for ancient forests—or just more stalling?

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      Major victory for forest defenders: BC judge upholds right of public access at Fairy Creek

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      The Canadian Standards Association's use of the word "sustainable" to describe forestry operations is an abuse of the English language

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      Victoria’s new buildings are evidence of a moral failure in architecture

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      RCMP restrictions on media at Fairy Creek endanger democracy, say journalists and experts

    • Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
      JULY 12 - 19 WEEKLY REPORT ---------------------------------------------------------------- Day 60 of Police Enforcement Day 343 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island's Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Ancestral Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territory 47 arrests this week 444 arrests to date and counting ---------------------------------------------------------------- This week has been chock full of action. As per usual (with the exception of last Sunday), the RCMP did not enforce the injunction, making it a relatively quiet day on the frontlines. Here’s the day-by-day breakdown of the major events from this past week: MONDAY This was the most violent day of the movement so far. There’s no sugar-coating it. A disgruntled logger assaulted an admittedly cheeky, but completely peaceful forest defender who was almost completely defenseless. He had one hand chained into the gate’s locking channel and his legs u-locked together. The logger grabbed his locked arm, trying to get around it to the padlock inside, all the while grinding his arm painfully against the metal. Because of this assault, he could not close his fist for at least two hours after he was extracted. Trying to stop the pain, the forest defender reached out to push the logger away, and the logger simply started punching him, mainly in the head. The logger left the man bruised and bleeding to continue dismantling a blockade of sticks and rocks forest defenders had constructed. When he finished this deconstruction, he again assaulted the same restrained forest defender, tackling him, throwing punches and smashing his head into the gate. The assaulted man was heartbroken by these assaults, but will not let it break him. “I’m angry, but not at Glen. I’m angry at the system that put Glen in this position. I’m angry at Horgan for not keeping his promise and for bringing me here to do it for him. “I’m happy I was able to protect my friends. I’m grateful I can take a hit. “And,” he said tearing up in an interview, “I am blessed to have the sense of humour to not be broken by this. “But, it still hurts, and I’m healing. And I have friends, and I have love.” We have taken a full interview with him, and will be releasing it this week. ALSO MONDAY On this same day, we had action on another front. The RCMP have been restricting public access to sightseeing landmarks and ancient forests in the Avatar Grove area. They call this the Access Control Point. Forest defenders challenged it en masse. One Indigenous defender was arrested and then assaulted for laying on the ground on the side of the road while yelling for people to drive their vehicles past. Several people were later arrested, some without warning when RCMP reinforcements showed up. TUESDAY Enforcement at Waterfall Road Tuesday was crowned by a recent graduate student of arts recreating a performance piece for RCMP as she sat atop a 20-foot-tall tripod directly above 5 blockaders into the ground. The original art piece was 1000 seconds (17 minutes) of wailing and screaming in a clearcut for the sorrow and rage she feels at the rampant thoughtless destruction of ancient forests that continues across this province. 5 minutes into the screaming, the RCMP asked her if she could stop as she was hurting their ears. She relented. She was extracted by a jerky excavator operator and C-IRG ropes team specialist, luckily without incident. WEDNESDAY We’ve been aware for a little while that roadbuilding is happening in the Bugaboo Forest, one of the most densely populated ancient yellow and red cedar old growth forests on Vancouver Island outside of the Central Walbran. Short on numbers, we sent a small mission out to the Bugaboo to halt road building for at least one day. After staying up all night building a blockade, the small group of locked-in forest defenders were greeted by two verbally aggressive loggers who even charged them with their machines (an excavator and a grader). Ultimately however, one of the two loggers calmed down enough to have a full conversation. Having a daughter who fully supports us, he revealed to forest defenders a common thought amongst loggers: he agrees with our goals, but not how we are trying to reach them. The suggestion, as it has been since time immemorial in civil disobedience movements, is that we should go through traditional channels and speak to politicians and corporations directly. We've all been doing this for years now and only received the same answer over and over again: talk and log. Commission a study and log. Campaign promises and log. All the while, the ancient giants have fallen and the clearcuts that are destroying our local climate and waterways continue. We hope this logger can come to understand that this is what being out of options looks like. THURSDAY The RCMP got the better of us this day in two ways. First, they convinced an industry consultant with a CV longer than his arm that his recommendations for handling a particularly dangerous forest defence hole known as The Well would be respected. This man, a forest defender himself with 18 years' experience operating excavators building forestry roads, instructed RCMP that if an excavator were to go anywhere near the 6 foot deep hole, it would collapse, and crush the forest defender chained to the bottom. They promised him he would be able to stay on site and advise on this extraction. As he was discussing with the RCMP's Division Liaison Team exactly what this would look like, another officer came up behind him and arrested him without warning. The second way they got the better of us was by convincing the man chained into the bottom of The Well to say he needed help from the RCMP to get out. In doing so, they were able to declare the whole area a Search and Rescue operation, which made every forest defender who was clipped in and able to remove themselves technically “interfering with a Search and Rescue operation.” Not wanting to risk a criminal charge they were not versed in, all but one of our defenders simply unchained themselves and walked away. FRIDAY Three major things happened on Friday. 1. Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones hosted an emergency meeting to ask for a renewed commitment to peaceful interaction in light of the violent assaults on a single forest defender earlier this week. Marlene, Bill’s brother from Wet'suwet'en, spoke of solidarity. RCMP attended, but only via low-flying helicopter, disrupting the event. 2. On Waterfall Road, an officer showed up and attempted to dismantle a still-drying quadruple sleeping dragon (four PVC pipes encased in cement with locking mechanisms at the bottom) by scooping the still wet cement directly out of the form with his bare hands. A forest defender leapt into action, scooping the cement back into the form, making the most inefficient assembly line in history. When the officer threatened him with arrest, he replied “Well, I was looking forward to being arrested criminally, so you may as well get on with it.” On a second threat, he laid down on top of the contraption, halting any more concrete removal. The officer gave up and left. 3. C-IRG showed up at Hawk's Nest (a camp above River) with a Media Relations Officer (MRO) for some reason via helicopter. They immediately set about destroying blockade materials, dumping bags of concrete off cliffs, shredding ropes to bits. One blockader engaged the MRO in discussion about the merits of blockading and who suggested we ought to follow the rule of law. Our response to this mirrors that of the forest defender. “I proposed to him that it is possible to break the law in order to uphold higher laws, and that government officials are breaking the law by condemning the population to extinction in the next few centuries.” SATURDAY We took back Well Camp, just two days after it was lost. A group of about 15 ran down the hill, past the police exclusion line and straight to the recently filled-in Well. Over the course of 5 hours, they managed to dig the entire 5 long by 6 foot deep trench back out with only hand tools, despite requiring a human shield of 12-13 forest defenders with arms linked surrounding them and isolating them from repeated attempts of police interference. As soon as the hole was done, two forest defenders jumped in with a friendship bracelet (a metal pipe that one arm each locks into) connecting them. Their extraction took 4 hours. One of the women was actually cut on her finger by the angle grinder the police used and was denied any medical treatment. "The angle grinder actually cut my finger. I screamed, started crying because I didn’t know how big or deep the cut was. It was quite a blur for me after that. I was arrested, brought to the vehicle. There was a self proclaimed medic at the truck and he said “Let me see your wound”. He didn’t have any antiseptic, so he poured water on it and told me “There’s no way you just got this cut. This wound is at least two days old.”" -- This was one of the most intense weeks we've had to date. Our refusal to lay down and accept the destruction of our natural world, the trampling of Indigenous values, may push RCMP and industry to more drastic measures, but every week, we keep getting stronger. This movement will meet its goals and it’s because we are resilient, no matter what the RCMP, aggressive individual loggers (who certainly don’t speak for all loggers), or the government throws at us. We keep getting stronger because we are fueled by love, passion, and the knowledge that we speak for the majority of the residents of the province when we say we need forestry reform and true Indigenous sovereignty. “Even though it is a hard situation, I cannot see myself doing anything that feels more important than this. Despite how terrifying it was, there was nothing I would rather have been doing at that moment.” It's time for your voice to join us. We need your strength, passion, love, and resolve. Find your place in history. Come to camp. ---------------------------------------------------------------- WANT TO GET INVOLVED? ---------------------------------------------------------------- COME TO CAMP! Join us at Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) HQ!! Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY. We are in wildfire season and as such you MUST read our fire safety protocols BEFORE coming to camp: http://bit.ly/3dNxMFl Read our pre-arrival info sheet: http://bit.ly/FCBarrivalinfo Worried about getting arrested? Here’s some educational information: http://bit.ly/FCBarrestee DRIVING? Get here: https://bit.ly/FCBnavigation NEED A RIDE? http://bit.ly/FCrideshare HELP OUT! Backcountry hikers/campers, climbers, tradesmen, kitchen, visitor services, logistics, you name it, we need it! Come prepared to wield your unique skillset & creativity for the betterment of the movement. It is up to YOU to figure out where and how you can be most useful. Get up in it! Visit different camps! Meet people! Ask around!! Find gaps!!! ---------------------------------------------------------------- CAN’T MAKE IT HERE? ---------------------------------------------------------------- REMOTE POSITIONS OPEN NOW! Communications, social media management, research, fundraising, content creation, graphic design, video editing, writing, outreach, admin, legal, strategy, local organization, the list goes on. Got skills? Got heart? We’d love your help! Fill out our intake form now: https://bit.ly/FCBintake DONATE! -Support for supplies and legal fees: https://bit.ly/FCBfundrazr -Current list of supplies & physical donations required: https://bit.ly/FCBsupplies JOIN A LOCAL EVENT! Check with your local Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, or any other activist group focused on protecting our future and Indigenous sovereignty. If there aren’t any in your area, rally a few friends and start your own! Check this page: http://bit.ly/LS4Fevents CALL YOUR MLA EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Find your MLA's number here: https://bit.ly/MLAEveryDay GOT HEALING/THERAPY SKILLS? We are developing a network of health practitioners to help forest defenders both on and off site. If you are willing to offer healing help, sign up here: http://bit.ly/FCBtherapy SIGN PETITIONS & MEET YOUR MLA! -Link to all ancient forest petitions: http://bit.ly/FCBallpetitions -Stand.earth MLA Action Toolkit https://bit.ly/MLAactiontoolkit ---------------------------------------------------------------- THANKS FRIENDS! ---------------------------------------------------------------- Klecko klecko! In solidarity, thank you
    • Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
      Logging Continues Despite Extremely Flammable Conditions  BUGABOO CREEK, VANCOUVER ISLAND, July 16, 2021 Despite tinder-dry conditions and high to extreme fire-danger ratings throughout Vancouver Island, logging continues in the Bugaboo region near Greater Fairy Creek.   Satellite imagery shows that since Friday July 9, several hundred metres have been felled to provide road access for clearcut logging.  This old-growth forest is outside of the recently-announced deferral areas. Road building is the first step in the logging process and is extremely destructive, requiring the removal of trees before grading and levelling to make way for logging trucks. Roads have detrimental effects on wildlife, and also open forests up to poaching of trees and animals. Early Wednesday morning a handful of activist protectors set up a pop-up blockade at the Bugaboo worksite. They began with six lines of rock and log walls across the road, then drilled arm holes into a large log that they locked themselves to. They began with 6 lines of rock and log walls across the road. Workers arrived on site around 5 a.m. and called police, who later extracted and arrested three people.  “This road-building is devastating a unique and spectacular ecosystem, abundant with ancient red and yellow cedars. About 4 km of roads have been approved through this irreplaceable old growth.” – said ‘Doghair’ of the RFS. Rainforest Flying Squad forest defenders have remained at Fairy Creek to protect the region’s last ancient forests. In light of the high fire rating they have been diligent about their own activities. Camps have implemented strict protocols that include 24 hour a day fire-watch patrols, banning outdoor smoking, prohibiting campfires, and more. “We’ve consulted with the Fire Marshall and are acting on those recommendations with fire mitigation policies, as well as fire response plans. We aren’t here to protect these rainforests, only to see them succumb to a wildfire,” says Kathleen Code, a member of the Rainforest Flying Squad who helped develop the fire protocols.  “Everyone recognizes the need to protect the forest from human impacts whether it is logging or fire,” she adds.  “We have a responsibility. These conditions are driven by climate change. Clearing more trees will only make it worse.” Forest defenders are questioning why logging and road building have not been stopped to reduce the risk of wildfires. The BC Wildfire Act and Regulationdefines mechanical logging and land clearing as a high-risk activity. It’s common for logging operations to cease during risk of wildfire due to heavy equipment throwing off sparks. “We’re concerned that in this early wildfire season, Teal-Jones is trying to log as much as possible before shutting down due to the fire danger. We’re worried they are downing trees and leaving slash piles that are tinder dry.” notes Carole Tootill, another RFS member. Only 2.6% of these intact ancient old-growth rainforests remain in British Columbia. With climate change bringing increasingly dry summers, fire threat in the Bugaboo and surrounding areas also rises.  Outside BC, there is increasing interest in protecting old-growth forests in order to help mitigate climate change. Yesterday, US president Biden moved to restore protection of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from road-building and large-scale logging of old-growth forests. Washington state also retains some old-growth forests as a method of sequestering carbon, called ‘pro-forestation’.
    • Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
      DAILY UPDATE 📌 Part 1, July 12, TEAL-JONES LOGGER SAVAGELY BEATS CHAINED FOREST DEFENDER ▪️403 Arrested to date  ▪️ In a bid to distract police from Waterfall Camp and defend ancient forests elsewhere, they set up barricades of rock and stone in front of a gate. Three defenders, including two minors aged 15 and 16 were chained to the gate on Gordon River Road near Honeymoon Bay. ▪️Glen (The logger who committed the assault) and his coworkers arrived after a series of visits from police and more peaceful loggers. ▪️While most of the loggers remained calm Glen started to become violent. ▪️With the barricades partially removed, Glen approached the gate’s locking mechanism through which a forest defender had chained himself. Glen grabbed the arrestee’s arm so he could try to pry it out from the lock. The Blockader reached up towards Glen to try to push him away and Glen leaped at the blockader, throwing punches. Helpless to defend himself, Glen’s fist smashed into the blockader’s face over and over again as onlookers cried for him to stop, begging his coworkers to intervene. ▪️Witnesses called the RCMP. The RCMP hung up on them. ▪️When the barricades were removed, Glen again snapped. Throwing blockaders who had positioned themselves in a guarding circle around the chained man, Glen dove under the gate, tackling the man against it. He threw more punches, but this time forest defenders managed to hold him and pull him off after not too long. He did however smash the chained man’s head against the gate. ▪️Paramedics arrived. We are unsure of his condition at this time; we know that when he was released later from RCMP custody he was unable to chew anything. ▪️An industry manager showed up to the site to survey the situation. The manager called the police. ▪️Eventually the police began the work of extracting those attached to the gate. Removing the beaten man was a simple matter of severing the chain. In a bewildering move, the RCMP are investigating the man who was repeatedly smashed in the face for assault.   Part 2: In which police assaulted an indigenous man ▪️A few weeks ago the RCMP set up a stopping point called an Access Control Point (ACP) on Pacific Marine Road, restricting all access to the forests in the direction of Avatar and Eden Groves. Members of the public unassociated with the blockades have been turned away from hiking or sight-seeing. ▪️Today we challenged the perversion of democracy that is the ACP. Blockaders drove to the control point and attempted to pass RCMP vehicles. An Indigenous forest defender put his body on the line to allow two vehicles through. With only two officers, the blockader knew he would be able to pull them to the side if he put himself in an arrestable position. They arrested him, and rather than standing where he was, he walked to the side of the road and layed down. The RCMP treated him quite roughly in an attempt to get control of his body. One of them kneeled on his head. ▪️“You can’t come in,” was the message officers had given him. As a first nations person he was confused why he was unable to pass. He was heartened by the support he received from his fellow forest defenders: “Once on the ground, they kind of roughed me up. Normally people are kicking me and not cheering me on when I get arrested.” This was a harsh reminder of the systemic racism apparent in law enforcement. ▪️While being arrested, he shouted for people to go past as welcome guests on the land. Two vehicles managed to get past, one of which only did so because a blockader put her body between an officer and the driver of the vehicle, preventing the officer from removing the keys. She was later charged with assaulting an officer while she stood peacefully, occasionally shifting her stance with her back to an officer. Allegedly the shifting of her stance caused her to brush up against an officer, which they deemed assault. ▪️Neither of these actions would have been necessary if we had more people at camp. ▪️We desperately need your help. Please, come to camp.  
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