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Dispatches from the frontlines of Fairy Creek Rainforest defence


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Just before the last election, John Horgan’s NDP government said it would adopt the recommendations of the Gorley-Merkel strategic review on old growth forests. Horgan’s government has not followed through with any credible actions. Old-forest defenders are taking to the blockades, starting in Fairy Creek and Caycuse. This forum has been created to provide accurate information about what is happening where, and what you need to know if you are planning on joining or supporting a blockade.

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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.” 



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.

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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.
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.



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.

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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.



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

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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.

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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.

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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.



Cpl. Chris Manseau

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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.”

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Guest Dictatorship government

Posted May 19

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. 

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Guest Angeline Tillmanns

Posted May 20

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.

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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:



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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.




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.




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.



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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.”

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