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  • Diary of a forest defender, part V: Shattered Glass at Fairy Creek—how far is this going to go?

    Yellow Cedar

    LAST NIGHT I RETURNED TO FAIRY CREEK from my home “outside,” where I am blessed to live in a forest. A friend had come to visit on his birthday, and we walked the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island. “Outside” I swam back upstream here like a salmon through a river of tourists eager to soak up some sun and unwind after a year of COVID. 

    And then I headed back to Ada-Itsx/Fairy Creek. 

    Not 30 minutes after I drove my car a quarter mile up Granite Main, past the sign “You are entering TFL 46,” parked at the gate to “HQ,” and was sitting around the watch fire, the soft summer night was shattered by screams and broken glass. I was back “inside.”

    On my way in, I had passed three cars, pulled to the side of the road, people bedding down for the night, walking their dogs, exchanging a few words. A half-hour later, an angry mob swept up and destroyed the rustic intake booth, and stoned their cars, with them inside.

    The occupants came running and driving up the road for shelter, windshields and faith in humanity shattered.



    Smashed windows of forest defender’s car.


    I couldn’t help but think of Kristallnacht. You on the outside will surely say “tut tut, that was different.” Nobody was killed last night, but here on the inside, it doesn’t feel very different.

    We live in a province with a leader consolidating his power by exterminating an ecosystem, using a paramilitary tactical squad to enforce “law and order,” and benefitting from mob violence.

    And the fear in the eyes of the victims is the same. Come down here and look in their eyes. The vulnerability, the violation, are exactly the same.

    On the outside, you can wake up this morning with a reasonable expectation of a cup of coffee, greeting your friends and family, and doing your job. The police will not rappel down from helicopters into your back yard and threaten to punch you in the face. You won’t awake to find your car towed down a logging road and have its tires slashed. You can sleep in peace.

    On the inside, it’s different. If you think I’m overreacting, what do you want me to say to this young man, in his bare feet and pyjamas, voice trembling—“and they threw stones right into my car,” broken glass all around his feet? He came here to protect some trees. Who will protect him?

    How far is this going to go? Who are we as a people?

    This will go unnoticed. Mainstream media won’t print this story. Here on the inside, we’ll pick up the pieces, and get on with our day. We’ll try and comfort the afflicted, and pass the hat to help them fix their cars.

    We reported three assaults with property damage, and were routed to North Island dispatch, who said we’d get a call. No call came. We won’t waste our time on the RCMP. We know they’ll say it was a “random act of violence,” and that “they don’t have the resources.”



    Germania with her damaged vehicle, Ada-Itsx/Fairy Creek


    How do we deal with this?

    All I can think of is to ask groups of people from the city who feel protected by whatever privilege they have to come down every night and camp at the junction of Granite Main, and when the mob shows up next time, use your connections to see that justice is done.

    For me, I’ll carry on believing that John Horgan has a lot to answer for here.

    Hopefully my next post will be a bit more cheerful. I meant to tell you about a group of biologists walking a sacred valley to find endangered birds, by coaxing them with their own calls. I meant to tell you how I walked amongst some 2,000 year old yellow cedars on my own little pilgrimage.

    We’ll see how it goes.

    Yellow Cedar is a Vancouver Island-based writer. Read his earlier entries about getting back to the garden (thank you Joni M), his arrest (“Six Hours in Paddy Wagon”), the targeting of First Nations youths by the RCMP, and why he is willing to be arrested (“25 Species Will Go Extinct Today”).



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    Who are the 'mob'? It's hard to fully understand the situation unless they are described and at least somewhat known as to their intentions in vandalizing the camps.

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    Am I in Canada? Marauding goons? Shattered glass at night.  Indeed,  how far is this going to go?  The horrific images and the stories being shared with other countries speak to premier Horgan running a failed state.  Horgan must end this violence; guarantee the safety of protesters; and, protect the 3% of remaining old-growth forests.  

    Edited by Anthony Britneff
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    On 2021-06-24 at 12:56 PM, Guest Dennis said:

    Who are the 'mob'? It's hard to fully understand the situation unless they are described and at least somewhat known as to their intentions in vandalizing the camps.

    Hi Dennis, sorry about the delay replying. We spent our time that night dealing with the victims. As a non-violent group, we weren't about to confront them, and they drove off shortly after the victims got up to camp, before our video team with night lights got down to the attack site. The rcmp of course did no investigation. As a journalist, I can only say they were a mob. I speculate that they were not average locals from Port Renfrew, who are pretty neutral, generally. Port Renfrew sells itself to tourists as the Tall Tree Capital of Canada. However, we have documented 100s of violent incidents involving Teal Jones and Western Forest Products employees, so that would be a reasonable guess. Teal Jones, instead of diverting the loggers to 2nd growth, is sending them home without pay, when they are slowed by the arrests, so that they will get angry at us. Ironically, if they would stop coear cutting, they would get 50,000 jobs back they've lost in the last 12 years, but Teal Jones makes more running feller bunchers than skilled fallers. One feller buncher puts 6 people out of work. In short, I believe they were industry workers, but with no proof, or police accountability, I can't say.

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  • 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.

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