Jump to content
  • Dispatches from the frontlines of Fairy Creek Rainforest defence


    We have moved this record to the Fairy Creek Rainforest Defence forum

     

     May 26, 2021, continued

    A coalition of media outlets and press freedom groups filed an application in BC Supreme Court today, asking a judge to order the RCMP to provide journalists with reasonable access to police enforcement actions taking place in and around Fairy Creek and Caycuse camps. 

    The broad use of exclusion zones is questioned as it interfere’s with the media’s ability to inform the public about what is happening. RCMP have been forcing media to stay far away from arrests being made.

    FOCUS will report more on this in the coming days.

     

    12:22, May 26, 2021

    The Rainforest Flying Squad reports

    • from Caycuse, Ditidaht territory: We have heard that "Keys" was taken from the tree-sit, and that RCMP plan to extract all the remaining tree-sitters today.

    • While at Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory: 30 RCMP vehicles are at 2000 Road now.

     

    10:30 am, May 26, 2021

    FOCUS updates

    Last night at 10:19 pm, Corporal Manseau wrote to say that “In order to avoid a repeat of what occurred today when an operational need to change locations occurred, I am asking that all interested media parties remain flexible, and I will commit to putting out an email update tomorrow by 8:30a.m.” At 9:26 am, he emailed that planned enforcement “will take place in the Port Renfrew area.” Media were requested to meet at 10:30 am in a parking area approximately 2kms past Port Renfrew on Pacific Marine Road to rendezvous with the media liaison officers for escort. The distances, given the late notice, will make it difficult for many media to get there in time.

    Rainforest Flying Squad reported at 9:32 am that “14 police vehicles and 2 vans have left the station at Cowichan Lake.” They had also had a report that “50 or more, many unmarked police vehicles, are leaving Cowichan. They don’t seem to be going to Caycuse.”

    It’s not totally clear how many were arrested yesterday, but it could be close to three dozen, making it the busiest day so far. Arrests were made mostly in the Caycuse area. (Media had been directed to the Port Renfrew area.)

    Shown below are a couple of photos of the Elders convoy who visited 2 blockades in the Fairy Creek area yesterday. Many were willing to risk arrest, but the RCMP let them into the exclusion zone without charge. From 75-100 elders attended. See entry below from yesterday afternoon for more details on the convoy.

     

    299157920_image0copy.thumb.jpg.78967f9396e366441ce8ee589f9f1d91.jpg

    Elders attend Fairy Creek blockades, May 25 (Photo by Marnie Recker)

     

    59911215_image5copy.thumb.jpg.9647f2b582faedac34060b5b7a8e37f0.jpg

    Elders attend Fairy Creek blockades, May 25 (Photo by Marnie Recker)

     

    4:49 & 6:10 pm, May 25, 2021

    Report from Rainforest Flying Squad, Caycuse, Ditidaht Territories

    RCMP showed people where they could peacefully protest, and everyone was in that area. Then police went in and started arresting leaders, legal observers and our police liaisons. Three to six people at a time were escorted out.

    About two dozen people were removed and arrested, and we were told about 15 more were being held there and told they would be arrested imminently.

    One witness said she didn't recognize any of the RCMP from any of the previous situations.

    Many protestors' vehicles were towed away, some to Tiger Towing, some were left about 3 kms away. RCMP have told people they can go and get them, although Teal Jones may charge them for the tow.

    We also heard some protestors' tires were punctured.

     

    2:05 pm, May 25, 2021

    Rainforest Flying Squad reports

    • We are asking media to attend the Caycuse exclusion zone checkpoint, where RCMP had corralled about 3 dozen people. About one-third have been arrested and removed, but it seems they're taking hours in between.

    Some media have been penned off to one side, with everyone else in another area. No one is allowed to go anywhere and vehicles are being towed off-site without warning.

    • A convoy of 30 elders is approaching an active blockade at the bottom of Braden Maine on Gordon River Road. 

    The elders have been invited by Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones. This area is home to some of the last stands of old-growth forest on southern Vancouver Island. Some of the seniors are willing to risk arrest to show their support for the protesters who are blocking the logging of the last old growth forest at several blockade sites.

    Why get arrested? Their reasons are varied. 76-year-old Jackie Larkin feels betrayed. “This government has lied to us about their willingness to protect old growth. It’s my responsibility to stand with the ancient trees and against the forestry companies and chainsaws that destroy precious ecosystems.” 

    Joanne Manley, now 88, was arrested 28 years ago in Clayoquot. She’s saddened nothing seems to have changed: “Writing letters and phoning the government hasn’t helped so far, so here I am, standing with the few trees that remain, hoping the government will finally come to its senses.”

    The circle of elders will drive in convoy to the Fairy Creek area, assembling at the Park-and-Ride in Sooke, knowing that they face possible arrest, fines and jail time.

    Susan Gage, one of the group organizers, reflects that it’s not fair that younger people, indigenous and non-indigenous, have to be the ones fighting for environmental sustainability. “We want to show that we, as elders, stand with these brave young people, who are trying to reveal the insanity of mowing down these ancient trees and the unique temperate rainforest ecosystem sustained by these mother trees.”

     

    Morning, May 25, 2021

    FOCUS reports

    FOCUS photojournalist Dawna Mueller, acting on the below instructions from the RCMP, proceeded to the Port Renfrew area on Tuesday, May 25th morning.

    But the RCMP failed to appear. She managed to get a message to the editor of FOCUS. On inquiry to Corporal Manseau, FOCUS received the following reply by email: “Enforcement was planned for the Port Renfrew area but circumstances have changed and members are again in the Caycuse area, where enforcement started last week.” In a subsequent email, he elucidated: “Those plans literally changed based on the actions of protesters in the Caycuse area that were unexpected. Our plans had been to continue enforcement in the Port Renfrew area up until that moment. I apologize  for the inconvenience.”

    It is a long, bumpy ride along logging roads from Port Renfrew to Caycuse. One would normally go from Victoria through Lake Cowichan to get to the latter. So it is unclear whether media will be able to get to Caycuse today.

    According to the Rainforest Flying Squad at 10:36 am, “People are being arrested right now at a ‘temporary exclusion zone’ at Caycuse.”

    —Leslie Campbell, editor

     

    9:34 pm, May 24, 2021

    Email to media from Corporal Chris Manseau, BC RCMP

    Tomorrow, Tuesday May 25, 2021, enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction order is again planning on continuing.  As operations are still being developed, the exact location of the enforcement has yet to be determined.

    I ask that you again please meet our Media Relations Officers in the Port Renfrew area, this time at 9:30a.m. They will be waiting in the same gravel pull out/ parking area approximately 2kms past Port Renfrew on Pacific Marine Rd (across from the entrance to the Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park). You will be asked to sign in with identification and contact information. 

    At approximately that time (or before) the RCMP Relations Officers will be informed where enforcement will be scheduled to take place and you will be invited to travel to the enforcement area led by our Media Relations Officers. They will then escort you into a designated area for media.

    Every reasonable effort will be made to allow you to get as close as possible to the enforcement area, while ensuring no interference with police operations. Plenty of time will be provided to you in the area to ensure that you have opportunity to document and report on actions as they occur.

    Due to timing and logistics, these plans may vary. We cannot guarantee you access if you are not there on time tomorrow, but we will ensure we provide ample notice if meeting times change.

    I will not be able to provide further information on the anticipated plans for tomorrow or subsequent days ahead.

     

    Afternoon, May 24, 2021

    Trees for Tomorrow demonstration at Legislature

    Trees for Tomorrow, a newly founded initiative led by youth, organized a demonstration, standing in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders after a call out for organized action from frontline activists. We as organizers, youth, and allies demand action towards the protection of old-growth forests for current and future generations,” said Mischa Arbess.

     

    2130935595_leg-demo-Panocopy.thumb.jpg.581f08194368af578ea7f77c737ff531.jpg

    Trees for Tomorrow demonstration at Legislature (photograph by Dawna Mueller)

     

    Afternoon, May 24, 2021

    Rainforest Flying Squad updates:

    • There have been four or five arrests at Waterfall Camp today. RCMP have reportedly left the area now.

    • There is or was a police line blocking people at Reid and Braden. There was not much media there. We are not sure if RCMP have also left this site.

    • Forest defenders set up a blockade at 2000 Road this morning. The area was an active work site for logging old growth up until the morning of May 17th, when the first blockade there was set up. Work was stopped for four days until arrests on May 21.

    About 30 RCMP vehicles attended Road 2000 this morning. There are no reports of exclusion zones.

    Is this level of police presence and illegal exclusion zones really necessary to dismantle the camps of peaceful civil disobedience activists?

    • A supporter sent the following message:

    “I spoke to RCMP spokesperson Corporal Chris Manseau this morning and got a better understanding of who is in charge of the operation. It’s not Lake Cowichan RCMP at all. The RCMP used for enforcement come from all over the province. The person in command comes from RCMP Headquarters in Surrey. His name is Dave Attfield…He was the Gold Commander who oversaw the raid  at the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory.  Remember that?”

     

    May 24, 11 am, BC Legislature

    Parents Support Land Defenders

    Parents4Climate created a forest on the lawn of the Legislature on Monday to show solidarity for Indigenous sovereignty and Old Growth Forest defenders at the Fairy Creek Blockades.    

    “Having spent time at the Fairy Creek Headquarters camp in the past few weeks, we can attest to the deep commitment of the land defenders who have spent so many days keeping watch and putting their bodies and spirits on the line for our ancient forests,” says Kate Lawes, Parents4Climate (P4C) member.

    “Since we’re currently unable to go there ourselves, we want to support, in any way we can, the land defenders and the old growth forests they have protected for more than 280 days.” 

    The symbolic “planting” of cardboard trees will be from 11am-1pm and follow all public health and safe distancing protocols.  

    We would like to acknowledge that this event will take place on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen speaking peoples.

    https://www.facebook.com/parents4climate/

    Parents 4 Climate is a local group of committed, loving parents on Lekwungen territory, united around the basic sense of duty every parent feels to ensure that our children have a healthy planet to grow and live on.

     

    12:20, May 24, 2021

    Updates from the Rainforest Flying Squad:

    Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht territory: 

    • 17 RCMP vehicles have arrived at Fairy Creek, including a large paddy wagon. There is an exclusion zone being set up at Fairy Creek.

    • We understand that RCMP have been using the letter issued by the Pacheedaht last month to tell people that the Pacheedaht do not want them on their territory. The origins of that letter may be in question. Please note the following paragraphs from the revenue-sharing agreement the Pacheedaht have with government:

    ARTICLE 11 -ASSISTANCE 11 

    11.1 Non-interference. Pacheedaht First Nation agrees it will not support or participate in any acts that frustrate, delay, stop or otherwise physically impede or interfere with provincially authorized forest activities. 

    11.2 Cooperation and Support. Pacheedaht First Nation will promptly and fully cooperate with and provide its support to British Columbia in seeking to resolve any action that might be taken by a member of First Nation that is inconsistent with this Agreement.

    • Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones was stopped by police today as his car approached Fairy Creek. He told officers that “The pretender chief, Frank Jones, and the elected chief are not the final authority here. They're acting out of their own pretensions. They are not being guided by our... cultural laws,” he told police. “You are invading the territory of our hereditary chief. Frank Jones is not from here, he’s from Terrace,” so he would not be high up on the list of those eligible for the position of hereditary chief.

    A witness said RCMP told Elder Bill that he would be arrested if he didn't get off the road. A supporter took him home. Fairy Creek has been a place of refuge and spirituality for Elder Bill his whole life. 

    • Earlier there was a large group of angry pro-industry people at Braden and 2000 Road at the back of Fairy Creek. They have now left.

    Caycuse, Ditidaht territory:

    There is still a tree-sitter at Caycuse. He is fasting until all old-growth trees are protected. Trees are being cut down around him, some so close that debris is falling on him as they go down. There are a few RCMP and a helicopter.

    Elsewhere: Statement on cut brake line

    We have heard police are investigating a cut brake line on a logging truck. Kathleen Code, a spokesperson for Rainforest Flying Squad, said, “We assure the public that our group of nonviolent forest defenders would never contemplate such an action. We stand on the time-honoured principle of non-violent civil disobedience to express our grief and anger at the loss of these majestic trees and the rich ecosystems they provide. What we have already lost is unimaginable. But we would never intentionally harm a forestry worker or a police officer, even if we don't agree with what they're doing. 

    “If there is someone out there that believes cutting an innocent person's brake line would somehow help, I urge them to take responsibility and to desist. Please do not ‘help’ us in that way. Violence and endangering others is not what we're about. Some of our forest defenders are risking their own lives and freedom for this cause.

    “We are a movement that is peaceful, honourable and immovable. Nonviolent supporters are welcome and encouraged to join us in either urging the government for an immediate moratorium on old-growth logging, or standing with us to protect these ancient forests. Please come.”

     

    9:33 pm, May 23, 2021

    Email to media from Corporal Chris Manseau of the BC RCMP:

    Tomorrow, Monday May 24, 2021, enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction order is again planning on continuing.  As operations are still being developed, the exact location of the enforcement has yet to be determined, however, I have been assured that it will again be near Port Renfrew.

    I ask that you again please meet our Media Relations Officers in the Port Renfrew area, this time at 9:45a.m. They will be waiting in the same gravel pull out/ parking area approximately 2kms past Port Renfrew on Pacific Marine Rd (across from the entrance to the Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park). You will be asked to sign in with identification and contact information.

    At approximately that time (or before) the RCMP Relations Officers will be informed where enforcement will be scheduled to take place and you will be invited to travel to the enforcement area led by our Media Relations Officers. They will then escort you into a designated area for media. 

    Every reasonable effort will be made to allow you to get as close as possible to the enforcement area, while ensuring no interference with police operations. Plenty of time will be provided to you in the area to ensure that you have opportunity to document and report on actions as they occur.

    Due to timing and logistics, these plans may vary. We cannot guarantee you access if you are not there on time tomorrow, but we will ensure we provide ample notice if meeting times change.

    I will not be able to provide further information on the anticipated plans for tomorrow or subsequent days ahead.

     

    May 22, 2021

    Downtown Victoria action in solidarity with old-growth defenders:

    1821289877_tasha-cookvic.thumb.jpg.10b581894af58f6601999c5b4292374e.jpg

    Tasha Diamant, chained to statue of Captain Cook, Government Street, Victoria (photograph by Dawna Mueller)

     

    Tasha Diamant, 59, is a mother of two teenagers, an artist, and a former university professor.

    Says Diamant: “When Captain Cook arrived in the late 1700s, some of our trees that people are getting arrested for protecting were already ancient! That blows my mind.”

    “We cannot lose another inch of ancient forest when almost nothing is left. I’m doing nonviolent civil disobedience in solidarity with all those forest protectors getting unjustly arrested.”

    “I’m chained to Captain Cook who is one of the guys who led us to where we are today. A situation where we have to fight our own British Columbia and Canadian governments to save the last 3% of ancient forests in BC.”

    “I have two daughters and it’s my job as a mom to model responsibility and ethics. As a person living with Stage 4 cancer, I may not have a lot of time. I’m extremely anxious about getting arrested but I strongly believe that those of us with privilege must risk arrest to expose the real criminals.”

    Follow @urbanactionsforancientforests on Facebook and @urban_actions4ancientforests on Instagram

     

    9:14 pm, May 22, 2021

    Email to media from Corporal Chris Manseau of the BC RCMP:

    Please be advised there is no scheduled media meet-up tomorrow, Sunday May 23rd, as there is no planned or scheduled enforcement of the BC Supreme Court’s injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed area.

    The RCMP has tried to remain as flexible as possible for all media to have access, however there have now been several instances of persons claiming to be media who have then joined the protest situation.

    If any journalists from recognized media outlets are interested in observing, reasonable efforts will be made to provide access to the enforcement area as described in the media release from Monday May 17th.

    As the access control points do not have cellular or data services, it’s recommended that should media be interested access, please contact me at this email address rather instead of arriving at the access control points, so I can assess options.

    Thank you for your co-operation and participation over the last couple of days.

     

    Afternoon, May 22, 2021

    Updates from the Rainforest Flying Squad:

    •  Video of indigenous-led protest that broke through the exclusion zone earlier today at Caycuse. They staged a peaceful sit-in at the police line. See video.

    • We are getting updates from “Keys,” a fourth tree-sitter still in Caycuse, that loggers have been falling trees around her for the past 2 hours. They found her internet and apparently have destroyed it. We are very concerned.

    • We have also heard about 16 to 18 RCMP vehicles are right now en route to Caycuse, including paddy wagons. They have passed the Port Renfrew turnoff.

    • Tzeporah Berman, veteran of Clayoquot defence and director of the environmental organization Stand.earth, has been released after her arrest today at Fairy Creek.“There are moments in history when our government fails us. When we are called to stand up. This is one of those moments,” she said. “There is so little old growth left standing and the government has so far broken its promise to protect what’s left.”  The Clayoquot blockades still stand as the greatest act of nonviolent civil disobedience in Canadian history.  

    • 3:24 pm: Two people who were in a treehouse have been removed by RCMP and were arrested.

    • Active logging has again resumed at Caycuse.

    • Bill Jones, a Pacheedaht elder who visited Fairy Creek often in his life, is reportedly on his way to Fairy Creek. Jones recalls visiting the area from his childhood and throughout his life. He regards it as a cathedral, and sacred to his people. He has called for the area to be made a park in recognition of the thousands of First Nations people who died of smallpox in 1862. This is referring to the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Indigenous people who died of smallpox in 1862-63. Some reports say one-third of the Indigenous population of BC was lost, others say up to 60 percent.

    Although the Pacheedaht chief has issued a public letter in April asking forest defenders to leave, Jones says he has the right under the Indian Act to invite people to his territory. He continues to welcome all who wish to help defend Fairy Creek to join us now. 

    The city of Victoria grew quite suddenly from 300 to 5000 people in just one year, because of its situation on the way to the Cariboo goldfields.

    Many First Nations from other communities had come to Victoria for work or trade opportunities. In 1862 there were between 2000 and 2500 First Nations people, including Tsimshian, Haida, Stikine, and others from the north, as well as the Songhees who lived there.

    Due to racism and fear, Indigenous people were forced to leave Victoria, accompanied by two gunboats, even though many were direly ill with smallpox. Their dwellings in Victoria were burned, to prevent them from returning.

    Many who were too sick to travel were dropped off along the coast, where they died. There could well be unburied bones of many First Nations around the San Juan River, into which Fairy Creek flows. 

    Those that lived long enough to return home delivered the devastation of smallpox to their territories, killing thousands, as far north as Alaska. The Haida population alone was decimated from a pre-epidemic count of 6,607 people to only 829 in 1881.

    Because First Nations were decimated, their land claims were ignored. It is part of the reason BC didn't make treaties:

    “Governor Douglas had earlier signed 14 treaties on Vancouver Island until a funding conflict between the Crown and the colony postponed progress and, in the face of the smallpox crisis, treaties became a low priority. ‘There was this pervasive belief that this was a dying race and the smallpox epidemic seemed to confirm that. So essentially treaty-making was abandoned as a result,’ says Lutz.” From MacLeans.

     

    1:11 pm, May 22, 2021

    Email report from the Rainforest Flying Squad:

    RCMP are enforcing the injunction at Waterfall Camp. Four people have been arrested. RCMP are still working to extract someone locked to a structure underground, which requires a jackhammer.This is Rainforest Flying Squad's first camp. It guards the approach to the Fairy Creek watershed. As soon as it is cleared, road building crews will begin cutting down trees and carving a road into the last unlogged watershed in the San Juan River system.

    It is the last pristine watershed, outside of a park, on southern Vancouver Island. Although Teal Jones says it is only cutting down a small area in the headwaters, their permit allows building one kilometre of roads into Fairy Creek. This alone will do incredible damage.

    Old-growth forests are far superior at carbon sequestration. Protecting old-growth forests is an exponentially better way to mitigate climate change than planting seedlings.

     

    11:57 am, May 22, 2021
    Rainforest Flying Squad reports:
    We have just heard that about 50 pro-logging demonstrators have blocked our convoy of protestors at Mesachie Lake, who were heading to a demonstration at Caycuse Main, just south of Lake Cowichan.
    At Caycuse, RCMP are currently working on getting the treehouse down, which has two people in it.
    At Waterfall Camp, RCMP are extracting a man from a structure using jackhammers.
     
     
    10:56 am, May 22, 2021
    Rainforest Flying Squad reports:
    About 15 RCMP vehicles, including paddy wagons, are at our Waterfall Camp.
    We are asking media to attend both Eden and Waterfall camps as soon as possible.
    Trees are being felled again at Caycuse, again near tree-sitters. WCB [Worksafe BC] has again been called. We have heard RCMP are there with SUVs and dogs in the back woods.
    Journalists and lawyers were turned away at Caycuse this morning.

     

    9:03 pm, May 21, 2021

    Email from Corporal Chris Manseau, BC RCMP, to media:

    Tomorrow, Saturday May 22, 2021, enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction order is again planning on continuing.  As operations are still being developed, the exact location of the enforcement has yet to be determined. However, I have been assured that it will be near Port Renfrew.

    I ask that you meet our Media Relations Officers at 9:15 a.m. in the Port Renfrew area. They will be waiting in a gravel pull out/ parking area approximately 2kms past Port Renfrew on Harris Creek Rd. [Clarified laterGoogle calls the road Pacific Marine Rd. I have been assured that it is across from the entrance to the Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park.]

    RCMP Sergeant Kris Clark will be driving a blue Chevrolet Trailblazer (for reference) You will be asked to sign in with identification and contact information.

    At approximately that time (or before) the RCMP Relations Officers will be informed where enforcement will be scheduled to take place and you will be invited to travel to the enforcement area led by our Media Relations Officers. They will then escort you into a designated area for media. 

    Every reasonable effort will be made to allow you to get as close as possible to the enforcement area, while ensuring no interference with police operations. Plenty of time will be provided to you in the area to ensure that you have opportunity to document and report on actions as they occur.

    Due to timing and logistics, these plans may vary. We cannot guarantee you access if you are not there on time tomorrow, but we will ensure we provide ample notice if meeting times change.

    I will not be able to provide further information on the anticipated plans for tomorrow or subsequent days ahead.

     

    1:00-1:45 pm, May 21, 2021

    A series of emails from the Rainforest Flying Squad report:

    • Three arrests have been made at Road 2000 near Fairy Creek today. They are being taken to Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment.

    • However, “Pony” the tree-sitter at Caycuse has survived active tree falling nearby today, and police efforts to extract her so far. We hear they need to get special equipment—a genie lift—from Nanaimo.

    • Dangerous tree extraction continued in Caycuse with someone on the ground almost hit. 

    • Worksafe BC has now shut down tree falling around tree sitters. This activity, by loggers, was unsupervised by RCMP. 

    • Owing to endangered screech owls in the area, BC’s ministry of forests has shut down logging activity around the sites. Caycuse remains defended.

     

    372830267_Caycuse1copy.thumb.jpg.095976dccc5c47e3ca6fb6e639366b7d.jpg

    Beautiful forest at Caycuse, now believed dead. Photograph by Will O’Connell

     

    11:44, May 21, 2021

    Email from Rainforest Flying Squad, Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory: 

    RCMP are now extracting the first tree-sitter.

    We have just heard a journalist was arrested at Caycuse.

    Sierra Club says endangered screech owls have been seen at Caycuse:

    https://sierraclub.bc.ca/teal-jones-risks-destroying-fragile-western-screech-owl-forests/?fbclid=IwAR0RKEr3-mazsUO6IT_kiS3TfxpjcELdp4-sciePa76g4GcCkYQLPZp1hCc

     

    11:19 am, May 21, 2021 

    Email from Rainforest Flying Squad:

    • RCMP are extracting a protestor who has locked part of his body underground [on Braden Main in Pacheedaht Territory]

    Police have set up an exclusion zone at Braden Main, about 3.9 km , where the road forks onto 2000 Road, near Fairy Creek.

    Paddy wagons and a fleet of police vehicles arrived earlier this morning.

    Protestors had recently set up a new blockade there, and loggers had been turned away from active felling for several days.

    The felling is in a forested area contiguous with Fairy Creek, but outside of the Fairy Creek watershed itself.

    And in Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory:

    We have heard there is falling one tree length away from a tree sitter. 

    RCMP are working on extracting the tree sitter.

    Why are they allowing falling to continue?

     

    10:25 am, May 21, 2021

    Email from Rainforest Flying Squad, Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory: 

    We understand that loggers are felling trees within two tree-lengths of our tree-sitter. One of our members called WorkSafe BC, and was told loggers are not allowed to be felling trees with members of the general public there, and that if a protestor was hurt during logging that would be a criminal offence.

    We believe there is not RCMP oversight at this time.

    The RCMP's media liaison was asked if media would get full access to the site. They were told "Depending on the methods used to remove the tree sitter, media may/may not have full access. There may be some tradecraft techniques used that we want to keep private, however all attempts to have the media have access will be made."

    We have been underwhelmed by the RCMP's "attempts" to give media access to this point.

     
    9:27 am, May 21, 2021
    Rainforest Flying Squad email report:
    Despite being very aware there is at least one tree-sitter very high up in a tree at Caycuse, RCMP have allowed Teal Jones back into the area, and they have started falling trees. We are very concerned about her safety.  Asked why media were not allowed to witness her pending arrest, the media liaison officer reportedly said that a determination would be made this morning if it's necessary to remove that person today.
    Also a member of our group just saw a fleet of police vehicles driving towards Fairy Creek on the Pacific Marine with paddy wagons. We assume they must be heading to 2000 Road.
    Our Instagram is down. Our admin person is exploring the reasons and believes we have a good case for opening it again. He doesn't believe we've violated any of the rules and that upon review we should be up and running again.
     
     
    9:08 am, May 21, 2021

    Email from Corporal Chris Manseau, BC RCMP, to media:

    As mentioned last night, the police enforcement operations in the Caycuse area of the BC Supreme Court’s injunction order was completed pending further assessment this morning.

    As of this time it appears that enforcement will recommence in relations to the persons observed in the trees.  An assessment was made this morning, determining that those persons who remain in the structures in the trees will need to be removed if they do not choose to come down.

    Currently the media liaison officers are stationed at the access control check point on the McClure Forest Service Road, and will again be able to escort media into the area designated for media. Every reasonable effort will be made to allow you to get as close as possible to the enforcement, while ensuring no interference with police operations. Plenty of time will be provided to you to ensure that you have opportunity to document and report on actions as they occur.

    During the overnight patrols, two persons walked out of a heavily treed area and self-identified as journalists. These people had not been in prior contact with either the DLT members, or the media liaison officers on site. After some discussion they were offered and provided transportation to the access control point without any incident.

    Once again, thank you for your co-operation, patience and participation over the last couple of days.

     
     
    May 20, 2021

    Claims of colonial violence by arrestee Katie George Jim:

    One of those arrested on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Caycuse camp, was Katie George Jim, a niece of Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones.

    In a video after her release in Lake Cowichan, she claimed the RCMP had tackled her using an “excessive amount of force.” Though acting as a legal observer and not blockading, she says she was charged with obstruction of justice and assault of a police officer. She says she was only attempting to help a young man being tackled and treated roughly by the RCMP. She stated, “From the video you will see the only assault was of me.” She condemned it as colonial violence.

    The videos can be seen on Instagram for the Fairy Creek blockade.—FOCUS

     

     
    3:24 pm, May 20, 2021
    BC RCMP report, released by Corporal Manseau:

    Earlier this morning, several individuals were discovered to have returned to the enforcement area on the McClure Forest Service Road and attached themselves to structures. Police enforcement efforts resumed, resulting in the arrest of seven individuals. Six of those for breaching the injunction (civil contempt of court) and one person was escorted out with no recommended charges. The RCMP are also recommending that two individuals be charged with obstruction, two for possession of stolen property and one for obstruction and assaulting a police officer.

    All arrested persons were transported to the Lake Cowichan RCMP Detachment for processing and have refused to sign a conditional release document. They will be held in custody overnight to appear before the Supreme Court in Nanaimo tomorrow, May 21, 2021.

    “Since enforcement began, the RCMP have now arrested 21 individuals; 17 for breaching the injunction (civil contempt of court) and 4 for obstruction. Of the 17 individuals arrested for civil contempt of court, RCMP are also recommending that 2 individuals be charged with obstruction, 2 for possession of stolen property and 1 for obstruction and assaulting a police officer.”

     

    May 20, 2021

    Dawna Mueller reports from Victoria. Photographs by Dawna Mueller:

    A Solidarity Action for the forest protectors arrested at the Caycuse Camp over the past few days was held today in front of the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy Headquarters and on the steps of the BC Legislature in Victoria. The local group “Urban Actions for Ancient Forests” organized the event in an effort to stand in solidarity with the forest protectors since the arrests started on Tuesday.

     

    1603863636__DMP7199-Panocopy.thumb.jpg.8631e56044371f5a565430bd144bee64.jpg

     

    This week was a difficult one on the blockades as the RCMP moved in to enforce Teal Jones’ April Injunction. Arrests began early Tuesday, May 18, 2021 and continued through the week with each day becoming more contentious. What began with media exclusion on Monday, turned into limited and supervised access on Tuesday, with reduced access for both media and legal observers on Wednesday and Thursday.

     

    628218538__DMP7196copy.thumb.jpg.cbf318a0f61d6eed05b3bf5fd247fe6f.jpg

     

    Today’s Solidarity Action event included speeches, singing, art (that’s Jeremy Herndl’s painting in the above photo) and concluded with six-year-old Maddison hand delivering a letter addressed to Minister Heyman, Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, asking him to protect the old-growth forest. The Legislative Assembly was sitting today, but Minister Heyman did not come out to meet with the group knocking at the front door.  Instead, Greg Nelson, Acting Sargeant-at-Arms came out and promised Maddison that he would personally deliver the letter to the Minister.

     

    1124447448__DMP7186copy.thumb.jpg.5292305aee5f6bb92e19c5aa73ed9043.jpg

     
     
    1:47 pm, May 20, 2021

    Email from Rainforest Flying Squad:

    Forest defenders have re-occupied the Caycuse bridge after the RCMP concluded their enforcement action yesterday and cleared our camp. 

    Activists on the ground tell us that RCMP helicopters are circling, along with the pictures they sent us this message; 

    “Caycuse Stands  Our support is strong, and will not end until this colonially upheld ecocide is stopped.”

    Here are the photos sent today:

     

    image_6483441-3.JPG.fe65d2f092611cc4c4da76cb24258b61.JPGimage_6483441.JPG.d8d7d28756372d53464e45d0fe0c75ed.JPGimage_6483441-4.JPG.c5199ca508a9346078c79d6e35f6bb0e.JPG

     

     

    10:57 am, May 20, 2021

    Statement from observers at Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory:

    “On Wednesday, May 19, the media was allowed to access the Caycuse area currently under enforcement. Upon arrival, they were corralled into a close space approximately 50 meters away from arrests happening, and told to remain there, or risk arrest themselves.

    “The space was not sufficiently large for all journalists to document what was happening while safely social distancing in a manner that befits Covid times. They were then told if any of the police lines enclosing the space ripped, the area would be made even smaller. They said their orders were justified as securing their safety, as a wooden slice of old growth was said to be at risk of moving. At the same time, however, police officers were continuously moving past that structure and standing nearby.

    “The media actively engaged in several conversations with RCMP onsite to explain that this restriction of press access reinforced the appearance of police actions not holding up under public scrutiny. All negotiations were denied and the commander onsite did not engage with media.

    “After extensive time, the media was allowed to approach the arrestee known as 'The Machine' with 20 meters distance. The police liaison on site, known as 'Sparky' was told she would be allowed to get close and talk with the arrestee. 

    “After 10 minutes, all press and the PL were asked to return to the corral, an order which was challenged by them. They remained in place, stating that it was their right to document what was happening from an appropriate distance. After not moving for several minutes, the RCMP formed a wall of bodies to push media back physically. At that point, the filmmaker Gabriel was arrested for 'obstruction of justice' and escorted out of the area.

    “His charges were dropped and he was released the same afternoon.”

     

    9:41 am, May 20, 2021

    Email from Cpl. Chris Manseau, Media Relations Officer, BC RCMP:

    Good morning,

    As indicated in the email sent out last night, there was no scheduled media meet-up today as there was no planned enforcement of the BC Supreme Court’s injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed area.  It appears several individuals have returned to the enforcement area on the McClure Forest Service Road and have attached themselves to structures. After discussing with the Operations Commander, we will again be escorting the media to the temporary access control area so you can observe and report police actions.

    I would ask that any media personnel interested in attending today, to meet our Media Relations Officers at 11 a.m.

    Location: March Meadows Golf Club - 10298 South Shore Road, Honeymoon Bay, BC. They will be waiting in a parking area before the road turns to gravel from paved.

    Time of departure: 11:15 a.m.

    Same process as before, you will be asked to sign in with identification and contact information, prior to being accompanied to a designated media area on the forestry road.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Cpl. Chris Manseau

     

     

    9:16 am, May 20, 2021

    Email report from Rainforest Flying Squad, Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory: 

    So far this morning, RCMP have not allowed ANY media to enter the exclusion zone. We are hearing that their media liaison is not there.

    None of our police liaisons or media observers have been allowed in.

    Seven industrial vehicles and about 13 police vehicles have entered.

    We are asking all media to attend.

    Corporal Manseau, contacted by phone, has just informed us he will send an email clarifying that all media are welcome.

     

     

    10:40 pm, May 19, 2021

    Email report from Rainforest Flying Squad, Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory: 

    We have had contact from people at Caycuse camp. They are respectfully requesting that media attend Thursday morning for "something big". 

    Sorry, we were given no details to pass on.

    "Rainbow Eyes" refused to sign papers agreeing not to return to the injunction zone. 

    However we understand she was released on a promise to appear, and was directed to not violate the injunction, pending charges. 

    Teal Jones is reportedly pursuing both civil and criminal charges.

    We understand three other people are still in custody tonight and will be transferred to Nanaimo tomorrow to be brought before a judge. 

    Four others have been released.

     

     

    9:02 pm, May 19, 2021

    Email from Cpl. Chris Manseau, Media Relations Officer, BC RCMP:

    Good evening,

    The police enforcement of the BC Supreme Court’s injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed area concluded today along the McClure Forest Service Road, once the area was cleared of those in violation of the court-ordered injunction.

    The area is now closed to allow for Teal-Cedar Products Ltd. to clear the roadway and resume their operations.

    Please be advised there is no scheduled media meet-up tomorrow, as there is no planned enforcement. I will notify you should plans change, after a briefing with the Operations Commander in the morning.

    Thank you for your co-operation and participation over the last couple of days.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Cpl. Chris Manseau, Division Media Relations Officer, BC RCMP Communication Services

     

     

    5:16 pm, May 19, 2021

    The Rainforest Flying Squad reports from Caycuse on Ditidaht Territory:

    RCMP said they were done for the day. There were four arrests so far, including a journalist who refused to move back into the new exclusion zone. 
    However, then we received an update that another protestor is being freed from a position where his arm is chained under the ground. (As far as we know, the protestors have been chained in these positions since yesterday.)
    Media, police liaisons and legal observers complained today that they were held back so far that it was difficult to see anything.
     
     
    1644959883_P1544355copy.thumb.jpg.c0cdc19cf156c6edd63b65cd5c8c32de.jpg
    The “cookie” which is a section cut from a previously logged stump. Photography: @mackaisharp
     
     
    About 30 RCMP vehicles drove in this morning.

    Industry appears to be starting work. At least two large industrial trucks went into the exclusion zone today, one loaded with large pipes, one with a small crane. Possibly one more as well.

    Early this morning, two Teal and Domtar pick-up trucks went in with fellers.

    A member of the media was arrested today for standing their ground and refusing to be corralled into an exclusion zone with other media. RCMP officers formed a line and pushed back the media.

    Some police were overheard telling arrestees they’re not opposed to the blockade…

    “Machine” also known as “Cheddar” was arrested after being cut free from a chain to a huge “cookie”—a slice of a previously logged old-growth stump. This was a very lengthy process. Another was freed from a perch in a 'tripod'. Altogether three protestors have been arrested so far today, and one media person.

     

    1701840243_P1544335copy.thumb.jpg.091491fec9536239c536f4ab93e784b2.jpg

    This photo shows one person chained to the ground, in front of the bus and to the right, and another up in the air in a tripod. Photography: @mackaisharp

     

    One person said the RCMP appeared to be using an electronically activated pneumatic bolt cutter to free people from the chains and U-locks they have used to make themselves more difficult to remove. 

    These forest protectors are incredibly committed to staying in between industry and the old-growth forests they are there to protect. Many have been chained for many hours in uncomfortable positions in the cold and rain.

    It was overheard that police are bringing in a plasma torch.

     

     

    12:54 pm, May 19, 2021.

    The Rainforest Flying Squad reports:

    • About 50 people are protesting outside the courthouse in Nanaimo. Protestor Rainbow Eyes, an Indigenous woman from Vancouver Island, will be taken before a judge at 1:45 today. She could be transported to the women’s prison on the mainland.

    She was arrested yesterday [with four others] and refused to sign the conditions in order to be released. 

    Crowd outside are chanting: “We are here to guard our trees, get our sister and set her free.” 

     

    1443893247_rainboweyescopy.thumb.jpg.8730d4d2986f0a1540c2d697f57be1e9.jpg

    Rainbow Eyes, chained to gate prior to arrest May 18, 2021. Photograph by Dawna Mueller

     

    Editor's Note: Rainbow Eyes was released after her court appearance. She thanked other forest defenders and said: "Leaving the site and getting to the top and hearing the cheers in the police mobile was probably the coolest experience I've ever had…The power is in the people…The power is in the land, we connect in the land…When land and people truly come together, it creates something we all feel." 

     

    • So far today, one person was taken down from a tripod and arrested before 11 a.m. [A second person has reportedly now been arrested.]

    Media, legal observers and police liaisons say they are being kept too far back to get an unobstructed view of others being freed for arrest. 

    We have audio from legal observers and police liaisons who were not permitted to do their volunteer roles, unlike yesterday.

    RCMP have entered the Caycuse camp from the back as well, from 3 directions in all. A helicopter was trying to land.

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Guest Dictatorship government

    Posted

    I can't express how disgusted I am in our BC Government.  These trees are carbon storage, these trees are eco-tourism, these trees are ancient beings with a complete eco-system that our children and grandchildren will never experience.  All because our BC Government is in bed with Forestry and there is no watchdog on the Timber sales.  Climate change is the worst its ever been in BC and why well look at the resources you are spending on Police to hide the reasons why. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Guest Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic

    Posted

    Please let people know if you hear of a protest rally happening downtown. I would say we're ripe for one. The defenders in the woods are working awfully hard on our behalf.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Guest Angeline Tillmanns

    Posted

    Old-growth forest ecosystems allow us to step back in time: to feel the full, undiluted presence of a wild community of plants and animals that have grown and expired together continuously for millennia.  Just like elders in our human race, these ancient trees share with us wisdom, diversity, and deep memory.  We can feel into this more-than-human world and reflect on the busyness and brevity of our present human experience. 

    We have a responsibility to care for these forests.  Our provincial government needs to step up and help us transform our economy into one that is life sustaining and respectful of Indigenous peoples and their laws.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • The NDP's old-growth logging deferrals

    The map below shows FLNRORD's mapping of the 9 areas where logging deferrals were announced in September 2020. It also shows the intended deferral in the Central Walbran Valley, which has not been publicly announced. The mapping below shows that very little actual old-growth forest was included in the 9 deferrals that were announced. The Clayoquot deferrals includes a large part of Strathcona Park, as well as several parks in the Sound area, none of which were in any danger of being logged. Read more about this issue here.



×
×
  • Create New...