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Dispatches from the frontlines of Fairy Creek Rainforest defence


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Action for—but off-site—Fairy Creek:

Stand.Earth is organizing a protest at MLA offices around the province for Thursday June 10. Register here

Other protests have been held around the province already, including on May 30 at the sawmill operated by Teal Jones in Surrey.

The BC Green Party is hosting a petition to put pressure on the government to save the last of BC’s old-growth forests.

Let us know what else is going on…just post here for FOCUS readers.

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RCMP update:

As of Wednesday, June 2, 2021 evening, 158 people had been arrested, nine of them more than once.

On Thursday, June 3, the RCMP informed media:

"Please be advised that regardless of where the enforcement will be taking place on Thursday June 3, we are asking journalist who want entry into the access control area to please meet near Port Renfrew at 9:15 a.m.  The MROs [media relations officers] will be waiting in the gravel pull out/parking area approximately 2 kms past Port Renfrew on Pacific Marine Rd (across from the entrance to the Port Renfrew Marina & RV Park). 

"Once you’ve arrived at the location, it will then be the same process as before, where you will be asked to sign in with identification and contact information, prior to being escorted to a  designated into the area where enforcement is expected to take place.  Reminder – identification may include ID, business card, or photo ID from your media agency, a letter from your Editor/News Director confirming employment or other proof of media employment.  There is limited cell reception at the access control areas, so please print out any letters or proof of employment prior to traveling to the check point.

"We will not be able to guarantee access if you do not attend the meet up location on Thursday.  If you arrive later in the day and seek entry at an Access Control Point, Media Relations escort will be dependent on availability and the enforcement measures underway.  Therefore, there could be delays.

"As in the past, due to timing and logistics, these plans may vary. This is a fluid operation, and changes do occur without warning."

 

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Week 3 of RCMP enforcement at Ada'itsx / Fairy Creek and Eden, Pacheedaht Territory

Today RCMP announced by loudspeaker from helicopters over Eden Grove and Fairy Creek they would be enforcing the injunction in these two places today. (At least that's what forest defenders on the ground thought they said -- it was difficult to understand.)

Heavy enforcement is expected at both blockades today.

Another illegal exclusion zone has been set up by RCMP on the way to Eden.

RCMP are blocking and stopping traffic well before Waterfall Camp at Fairy Creek. Gordon River Road is closed to vehicle traffic between Honeymoon Bay and the sawmill on the Port Renfrew side.

Teal Jones is expected to continue towing legally parked cars.

 

Overview of past week:

This past week was eventful. In the Caycuse 41 people, including a police liaison and an indigenous woman, were arrested outside of the extrajudicial exclusion zone. The next day all four tree-sitters were arrested using a variety of tactics including RCMP helicopters. That same day Teal Jones began installing new gates blocking access to sections of public lands on Pacheedaht territory. 

The coming days saw Teal Jones cut off access to Bugaboo where they have begun road building. Arrests began at Waterfall camp, which directly prevents road building into Fairy Creek.

As front-line forest defenders were facing arrest, we saw the largest protest in the history of Langford take place -- approximately 800 people marching from the premier's constituency office to the RCMP headquarters.

Following the arrests at Waterfall Camp, last Saturday we saw our biggest day of action yet with an estimated 1000 or more people joining us on the front lines. Elder Bill Jones cut the police tape to access Waterfall Camp and led hundreds of forest defenders on a hike to support activists under siege at Waterfall Camp. Eight RCMP were present and there were no arrests that day.

The next day forest defenders re-established Ridge camp. This higher-elevation camp was our first blockade, established last August 10th. A group of two dozen people erected a blockade which prevented the planned next-day road-building into Ada'itsx / Fairy Creek.

On May 31 a group of over 100 seniors joined forest defenders in blocking access to an RCMP checkpoint on Braden Main. There were five arrests. June 1 saw even more arrests with  two youth, aged 16 and 17, arrested by the RCMP. They were denied access to legal observers during their arrests. 

 

Many municipalities support us!

Following is a list of municipalities that have to date asked BC provincial government to protect old-growth forests, as they promised in last October's election campaign:

Cumberland

Courtenay

Lantzville

Comox Valley Regional District

Metchosin

Powell River

Port Moody

Saanich

Nanaimo

Victoria

Local Government Association of BC

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Waterfall Camp at Fairy Creek has been breached!

Two-thousand year-old yellow cedar trees are at immediate risk. 

A grader is moving up the road at this moment.

Teal Jones is attempting to complete the road over the ridge into the Fairy Creek headwaters, where the largest 2000—year-old cedars stand.

This is the road-building that was stopped last August 10,, when Rainforest Flying Squad built the first blockade.

This morning at about 4:30 a.m., 10 plain clothes RCMP backpackers moved in to the camp.

If ever there was a time to get to Fairy Creek, the time is now!

This week, all week. Please come!

Ridge Camp GPS: 48.6416269, -124.3619269

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This morning, at 7 am, media were directed to go to Honey Moon Bay by the RCMP—a  very long way from Waterfall—yet RCMP knew the enforcement was taking place at Waterfall.

"Please be advised that regardless of where the enforcement will be taking place on Friday June 4, we are asking journalists who want entry into the access control area to please meet at the March Meadows Golf Club – 10298 South Shore Road, Honeymoon Bay, BC at 9:15 a.m.  The MROs will be waiting in the parking area before the road turns to gravel from paved."

 

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Waterfall Camp at Fairy Creek was breached by RCMP yesterday; putting two-thousand year-old yellow cedar trees at immediate risk. Waterfall Camp has since been re-established, but we need support on the ground more than ever. 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on June 4, ten undercover RCMP officers moved into Waterfall Camp. They arrested at least 3 people, working to break the barricades and end the blockade that has prevented a road from being built further into the forest. In response, Elder Bill Jones and forest defenders are urging people to come to Fairy Creek, in unceded Pacheedaht ancestral territory, to defend Indigenous rights and old-growth forests.

Heavy road-building equipment was also brought into Waterfall Camp (one of several camps in the Port Renfrew area). While Teal Jones does not yet have permits to log within the Fairy Creek watershed, it does have a permit to build approximately one kilometre of roads within the watershed, and about 5 km in the contiguous forest. Road-building alone causes a great deal of environmental damage -- opening the forest to poaching of trees and animals, and causing sedimentation to be washed into the creek, lake and river.

The Fairy Creek valley is the last pristine old-growth watershed on Southern Vancouver Island that is unprotected. These types of valleys -- known as temperate, valley-bottom old-growth forests -- grow the largest trees -- some of the trees at Fairy Creek are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. Vancouver Island’s coastal forests contain some of the largest remaining trees on the planet. 

 

If ever there was a time to get to Fairy Creek, the time is now!

Directions to Headquarters: www.bit.ly/HQdirections. Up to date information & further instructions provided on arrival. Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY. 

NEED A RIDE?
http://bit.ly/FCrideshare07caaa39-0527-a03d-01d2-58b1be8a3295.jpg

 

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Caycuse and Waterfall Camps RECLAIMED!

 

We are celebrating World Environment Day today, and the fact we have taken back both Caycuse and Waterfall Camps! 

 

Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory

We are back! We hear there are about 50 forest protectors now at Waterfall Camp. This morning helicopters flew above both Waterfall and Ridge camps at Fairy Creek. The injunction was read over loudspeakers from the aircraft. 

If anyone is heading there, they are asked to bring extra blankets, tents, warm dry clothes, hand warmers and sleeping mats, as well as charged, portable battery packs.

 

Yesterday at Waterfall Camp, Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territories

Day 301 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island's Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Unceded Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territories

- 3 arrests at Waterfall Friday, after officers in plain clothes raided around 4:30 am. Road building equipment was moved up the road to Ridge camp, but Waterfall has since been re-established stronger than ever with lessons learned. 

 

ACCOUNT FROM EARLY MORNING WATERFALL CAMP RAID:

We were building 'Sleeping dragons' late into the night/early morning. Everyone was dead tired by the time they were finished and passed out. 

Around 4:30am, Monkey woke up at the front to a group of guys in plain clothes walking through, talking quietly. One of them took a bag of SICA foam and started tearing it. Monkey lunged for the dragon but the cops grabbed him and ripped him out of reach.

In a panic, he yelled “HELLO!” as loud as he could to alert the rest of camp, but white noise from the waterfall may have drowned it out. One of the cops put an ungloved hand over Monkey’s unmasked mouth and they yelled “Obstruction, obstruction!” and told him he was obstructing justice and under arrest and would be charged with civil contempt of court.

They then filled the dragon with SICA foam, which took mere seconds and prevented anyone using it as a hard blockade to slow down arrest.They had radio comms and were speaking to one another, saying 'Mission Success' after they had walked through and filled all other dragons but one, whom someone managed to occupy.

Though surrounded by police, a brave woman quietly managed to get into a hard-block log contraption before police could stop her. The police didn’t read out the injunction, and were in plain clothes.

Rowan and Willow were locked together laying on the ground. The same cop who knocked over the tripod was 'babysitting' them. 'We’re trying hard not to hurt you guys,” he reportedly told them.

But, he added, “When we put you under arrest, we are allowed to use force that is deemed necessary to get you to comply. If we ask you to unclip and you refuse, we could punch you in the face until you let go.

“Also so you know, we’re not going to hurt you here, but you’ve been arrested and you’re in custody, that’s a different thing.” These hints and threats aim to intimidate the forest protectors, who are quite vulnerable, especially when they are locked to hard blockades, and there are no media, legal observers or other witnesses.

RCMP also intimidated two blockaders who were locked together across the bridge, with two 30-pound steel blocks on either arm. After a lengthy interaction, 10 cops were going to pick them up with the blocks attached. Police gave them the option to leave without arrest. Since the protestors did not trust police to avoid breaking their arms during carrying, they decided they would come back to fight for the forest another day.

 

Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory

- Caycuse efforts were able to prevent at least 40 workers from logging yesterday. Hardblocks were implemented during the night. Industry arrived at 5:30am and about 20 forest defenders showed up to stop them.

- We held a Funeral for the Fallen in remembrance of the many irreplaceable giant trees that have been felled in the Caycuse thus far. 

 

171 arrests to date

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
Our response to today’s First Nations’ request to defer
logging in Fairy Creek
We are honoured to do this work as guests on traditional territory of the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations. We work with utmost respect for the land and all its relations, human and nonhuman.

The Rainforest Flying Squad welcomes this morning's announcement that the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, and Huu-ay-aht First Nations are calling for logging deferrals on Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran. While it's a welcome step in the right direction, we, and Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, remain concerned that it allows for the status quo of old growth logging to continue unabated across the territory. 

“No, we must not stand down, as all First Nations are locked into unfair contracts that tie their hands,” Elder Bill Jones stated. 

We eagerly await details and clarification on the nations’ announcement. As of this morning we have yet to see any precise maps or confirmation that this deferral will prevent road building or active logging of old-growth. 

Any deferral on Fairy Creek MUST include the entire 2,080 hectare Fairy Creek Rainforest, not just the old growth within the watershed. This would include protecting the hundreds of hectares of at-risk old-growth adjacent to the Fairy Creek watershed in both Granite Creek and in the area known as the ‘2000 Road.’ We hope that the final agreement between the Pacheedaht and provincial government will reflect this. Likewise we are calling for deferral of logging across the entire special management zone in the Central Walbran.

As explained today by the Nations, logging will still be allowed on Edinburgh Mountain, in the Caycuse, Camper Creek, the Upper Walbran, Bugaboo Creek, and it may still be allowed to go ahead on the 2000 Road, Granite Creek, and parts of the Central Walbran. So we would see it as a very small victory.

This announcement does nothing to address the systemic crisis in the way our forests are managed. Premier Horgan must act rapidly to defer logging across the 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth identified by the Sierra Club of BC. The province must come to the table with conservation financing and economic alternatives for First Nations, and create a just transition to a second growth industry. 

Until these things happen, at the invitation of Elder Bill Jones, the Rainforest Flying Squad will continue to stand our ground to defend our last ancient forests.

Referring to the importance of the ancient trees, Elder Bill Jones says: "They are guides, teachers, spiritual beings." 

 
We need your help. Please forward this to any friends or family you feel would like to be involved or learn more. This newsletter will a source of new information about this once-in-a-lifetime movement.
Thank you for standing with us to protect ancient forests.
 
 
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Guest Shannon Carman

Hunger for Ancient Forests

By Shannon Carman

 

Helena Kreowska hasn’t eaten in seven days.

On June 2nd 2021, the 69-year-old decided to start a hunger strike to protest the logging of old-growth trees at Fairy Creek, as well as the destruction of the environment elsewhere in BC.

"I try to be a proper citizen, but if it was needed, I would just go marching naked on the street for this cause, if I knew that it would help!” she said. 

"We cannot breathe money. We cannot breathe wood pellets. We need these trees standing, producing air for us, working for our ecosystem.”

Raised in Poland by a family of artists and activists, Helena came to Canada in 1985 as a political refugee. “I was raised from the beginning to stand against oppression of any kind. I love nature -- and right now, nature is being oppressed.”

In her home in Nanaimo, BC, positioned between two beautiful parks containing old-growth trees, Helena’s connection to nature is strong. Books like Peter Wohlleben's “The Secret Life of Trees” and Suzanne Simard’s “Finding the Mother Tree” only deepened Helena’s understanding of trees' importance to the world. 

She wants people to know that it’s not just young, counterculture folks in this stand against old growth logging.

"Not all of us are hippies. Many of us are scientists and professionals. And we know what we are doing. I want to make a statement as a professional landscape architect who knows how important these trees are for our well-being as humans on this planet. This is not a joke.

"There are ways to log sustainably. There is education available about this. It does not have to be clear-cut."

She plans on continuing the hunger strike for two weeks, if she’s able.

"I drink lots of herbal tea, and lots of water. Today and yesterday, I am feeling a bit weaker -- but I know that it will pass.”

"I feel hope, that us as citizens, with the Indigenous people, can finally achieve something, as we are getting together more and more. 

“There is more education and more information than there was at Clayoquot. We are stronger. And, there are so many passionate young people now -- I love it. They can achieve this, with the help of us old-timers. I have great hope.”

See Helena's full statement on this site in the Forests section.

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

BC Government Announcement One Small Step to End Old Growth Logging in BC

Despite today’s announcement by the Province of British Columbia, deferring logging in key areas in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran, protesters will remain in the Fairy Creek Area. 

Large-scale logging could still occur in old-growth forest directly adjacent to Fairy Creek, and in parts of the Central Walbran not included in the deferral. Because of this, the Rainforest Flying Squad protesters will remain in place and will consult with Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones on next steps.

“The announcement today is a promising start to protecting old-growth forests in British Columbia,” says Saul Arbess, a member of Rainforest Flying Squad. “It’s a welcome change to see the province responding to this request from First Nations, and giving them the time to develop a plan that works for them.
“It’s a good deferral,” he added, “however it falls short of the deferrals required to pause logging in all of the critically endangered areas currently being defended, for generations to come.”

In Fairy Creek watershed itself, the deferral only impacts one kilometre of approved road building at the headwaters. However, in the greater adjacent, intact rainforest area surrounding Fairy Creek, currently  40 hectares of old growth logging and over five km of road building is already approved.

“If the province is only protecting the Fairy Creek watershed, then British Columbia is basically only deferring one km of road building for two years, and that’s it,” explained Joshua Wright, as Teal Jones does not yet have logging permits for the watershed itself. 

“They’re not stopping any of the roadbuilding or old-growth logging in the connected, intact forests just outside of the basin of Fairy Creek watershed.”

This larger, intact area is the home of an irreplaceable ecosystem, which is essential habitat for bears, elk and other large mammals, which are endangered by the continued fracturing and erosion of their habitat.

The new deferral in the Central Walbran only impacts 14.6 of the 21.6 hectares of old-growth logging approved in the Central Walbran, and only impacts 0.5 km of the 4.3 km of approved road building in the central valley.

Wright said it appears that a substantial amount of road-building would still be permitted within adjacent areas of the Walbran. Road-building opens access for poachers of trees and animals, and causes sedimentation to wash into creeks and rivers, which is known to damage fish reproduction.

In his press conference the Premier stated that “all of the old growth” in the Central Walbran and Fairy Creek would be protected. If Premier Horgan had been serious about protecting these areas this would have included a 2,080-hectare deferral at Fairy Creek (containing the entire rainforest contiguous with the valley) and a 2,600 hectare deferral in the Central Walbran, said Wright. 

 

About Rainforest Flying Squad

The Rainforest Flying Squad is a volunteer-driven, grassroots, non-violent direct action movement committed to  protecting the last stands of globally significant ancient temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island.  Rainforest Flying Squad works in partnership with LastStandforForests and other like-minded organizations, and stands in solidarity with Elder Bill Jones of the Pacheedaht Nation.

More information at laststandforforests.com.

Map https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FzlHB77Y97NuUydJGokFPqIoK1Z5kSEK/view?usp=sharing 

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Day 24 of Police Enforcement

Day 306 of direct action protecting Vancouver Island's ancient temperate rainforests on Pacheedaht and Ditidaht territories

197 arrests to date and counting

4 arrests today

----------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday June 9th Update:

Eden Camp, Pacheedaht Territory

At 5:30am an RCMP tactical team snuck into Eden Camp, prompting camp to sound the alarm. This bought one brave Indigenous youth time enough to chain himself into a special kind of reinforced sleeping dragon with tires and rebar that we have dubbed a “Tigger” (because it’s bouncy).

Rounding up the rest of our defenders, RCMP marched up to the top of the camp without reading the injunction or explaining their presence. They cut locks on our gate and brought in a backhoe to extract the forest defender in the Tigger. The brave youth was provided a helmet, hearing protection, eye protection, and a heavy blanket for safety. Due to the complexity of the Tigger, police were forced to dig much further down to excavate and unchain the defender from the bottom. This took several hours.

The rest of the camp was demolished as other defenders did not have time to lock in. Legal observers were again denied adequate access to the arrestees.

2000 Road, Pacheedaht Territory

At 8am, loggers approached 2000 to continue logging ancient trees. They were stopped by two non-indigenous elders locked together through the steel gate. Another forest defender was chained to the gate lying down. Two hours later, RCMP arrived and began extraction of the three defenders. The entire process took 2 hours.

Waterfall Camp, Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory

Police engaged us at Waterfall Camp in the early afternoon with a frontloader. They destroyed rock and log walls until they were halted by a forest defender standing atop one of these walls. After surveying the camp layout and infrastructure, the RCMP left without making arrests.

 

REMEMBERING THE 215

This morning at sunrise, our local Indigenous hosts lit a sacred fire at Waterfall Camp. Indigenous and non-Indigenous forest defenders gathered to reflect on the unbearable loss wrought by the genocidal residential school system. As we were holding the fire, an RCMP helicopter flew low overhead and threatened us with arrest, adding to the colonial violence we were there to acknowledge. As Indigenous ally Sara Santana reminds us, clear cuts = colonial violence.

This only amplifies what Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says, the Province's "time in the forest is over."

In defending the forest we seek to remember the stolen children and the loss their parents, families and communities continue to endure.

While we welcome the provincial government’s deferral announcement today, we cannot stress enough that most of the places we have been defending are still unprotected.

 

Tuesday, June 8:

Hayhaka Camp, Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory

At least 5 people were arrested at Hayhaka Camp Tuesday at the bottom of Braden near Gordon River Road. Hayhaka Camp was dismantled. We heard that a significant convoy of RCMP, along with heavy machinery, was headed up Braden towards 2000 and Waterfall Camp early that afternoon.

The arrestees included 2 non-Indigenous elder women, including one in a walker, and a middle-aged man. They sat in chairs and chained themselves to the legs of a tripod in the middle of the road. There were another 3 who chained themselves to the very earth they are defending in a device we call sleeping dragons. Two were in a structure on a side road and one was chained under the tripod. Additionally, there was a woman who chained herself to the top of the tripod. 

We felt RCMP endangered the safety of our protestors. Police used an excavator to dig out the sleeping dragons, which unnecessarily endangered the lives of our brave forest defenders. Safer methods could have been employed. One of the young women who chained herself to a sleeping dragon brought her mother along to be her legal observer. Despite repeated requests police would not allow her access.

After the arrests were complete RCMP bulldozed the camp. For now Hayhaka has fallen and bulldozers made their way up to the blockade at Waterfall Camp. Waterfall Camp is still standing. 

Some RCMP were wearing badges of moose hide and orange ribbon in honour of the 215 children whose bodies were found recently in the grounds of the Kamloops residential school. Salal  asked them, “what does that mean to you?”

Then she asked them to think about why they were wearing it and  what they’re doing here. She explained that protestors being here protecting the ancient forests is about Indigenous sovereignty and reconciliation.

There is a police roadblock about 1 km outside of the Braden intersection. Vehicles are not allowed to cross, but people can walk in. Tow trucks are active.

 

Monday, June 7:

NEGOTIATIONS AT HAYHAKA: Monday morning at 9 am, police arrived at Hayhaka Camp on 2000 Road, and announced their intention to enforce. They set up yet another illegal exclusion zone 250 metres down the road. 

After a series of threats of vehicle towing and arrests for everyone beyond this exclusion line, we negotiated for four of our legal observers to be permitted. They all stayed without arrest. 

Many vehicles were towed to an unknown location. Thirteen people total were arrested at Hayhaka. Twenty non-Indigenous elders challenged the exclusion line and 2 were arrested, including the mother of Victoria City Councillor Ben Isitt.

Four of the arrestees were in 'sleeping dragon' hard blockades, into which they were locked. RCMP used a backhoe to remove one of our forest defenders from her sleeping dragon. This extraction took nearly 3.5 hours. At one point the bucket of the backhoe was within inches of the defender’s head while she was unable to move. Onlookers were horrified.

Several people were chained together in arm enclosures we call “the friendship bracelet”. A young man was arrested for refusing to leave the exclusion zone.  

A contingent of seven municipal and regional district councillors came from all over the South Island to lend support to us and their constituents in peaceful protest. Among them were: Daniel Arbour - Comox Valley Regional District; Nicole Minions - Comox Councillor; Arzeena Hamir - Director, Area B - Comox Valley Regional District; Alison Nicholson - Cowichan Valley Regional District; Nathalie Chambers - Saanich Councillor; Gary Holmes - Director, Saltspring - Capital Regional District; Andy McKinnon -  Metchosin Councillor. Three of the councillors made the 4-hour hike up to Waterfall Camp to lend support to our isolated forest defenders camped there.

Bugaboo Main has been again destroyed, preventing access to Sassin Camp and the only emergency exit road when nearby communities flood.

 

Sunday, June 6

There was no RCMP enforcement

 

Saturday, June 5

WATERFALL:

Early this morning, RCMP helicopters hovered low over Waterfall Camp. Shouting through a megaphone, they read the injunction and announced their intention to begin enforcement today at the camp. Unlike previous empty threats from helicopters, they attempted to follow through on this announcement today

When they reached the bottom of the hill, they were met with two fast-thinking forest defenders halting their progress

H who was in a sleeping dragon tells the story of this narrow victory: “I got arrested today along with one other just below Waterfall Camp in order to delay their entry to the camp.”

“The concrete was still setting at Waterfall for the sleeping dragons up there and the cops came before we had time to pour the concrete down below from camp so we covered it in a tarp and they just assumed it was concrete underneath so it took them about 2 hours before they discovered that it was only being held in by rocks, giving enough time for the other ones to harden.” 

After a two-hour-long extraction from a sleeping dragon, he and his friend were arrested and transported to Lake Cowichan. This arrest was by far the least strenuous work the RCMP had to do that day. The entire hill leading up to Waterfall camp was fortified with innumerable rock and log walls. For hours the officers had to manually remove these walls, progressing at a glacial pace.

At one point forest defenders were constructing barricades within eyesight of police removing them.

After a taxing day of unexpected manual labour, RCMP realized that with the defenders outnumbering them 5 to 1 they could not win this race.

Eventually, they conceded and two officers walked through the camp for purported medical checks. They flew drones and were clearly doing reconnaissance

RCMP retreated to the sound of our victory songs

 

ILLEGAL EXCLUSION ZONE: 

For the second time, RCMP set up an illegal exclusion zone 5 kilometres away from our nearest camp.

Elder Bill Jones and Hereditary Chief Victor Peter were refused vehicular entry to their own territory at this line. The police said that Elder Bill Jones, a man in his 80s with health issues, could walk the 15 kilometres to Waterfall camp if he wanted to visit.

300 people challenged this exclusion line and began the hike all the way up to Waterfall camp

Among these people was Paul Manly, Green Party MP for Nanaimo - Ladysmith who was visiting the camps to meet with Elder Bill Jones, Hereditary Chief Victor Peter, and other Pacheedaht members in order to hear first-hand accounts of how the Pacheedaht have been affected by industry and police. He intends to bring this issue directly to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett

100 people made the entire hike to Waterfall camp, a 4 hour Ceremonial Prayer Walk for the trees we have lost

2000 GATE:

Two brave 15-year-old women locked themselves to the industry gate at 2000 road, preventing dozens of industry vehicles from entering and logging any more ancient giants  that day. Neither were arrested

 

OTHER NEWS:

Up at Ridge camp at about 9 pm, multitudes of Western Screech owls were heard, confirming concerns that road building and logging would be putting these endangered birds at risk.

Helena Kreowska, a Nanaimo senior, has been on hunger strike since June 3rd and intends to continue until all Ancient Temperate Rainforest has been protected.

A colossal rally took place in Vancouver.

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LAST STAND AT THE LEGISLATURE

FRIDAY, JUNE 11,  NOON

Massive Rally Defending Old Growth Forests Planned for BC Legislature
Victoria, BC - A broad coalition of elders, protectors of old-growth, defenders of Fairy Creek, academics and determined citizens from across the province are gathering at the BC Legislature lawns  Friday, June 11, 12 – 2 pm, to call on Premier John Horgan’s NDP government to ensure all old-growth forests in the province are permanently protected.

While the NDP government’s official ratification of the recent announcement by the Pacheedaht, Dididaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations for a 2-year deferral on old-growth logging at Fairy Creek watershed and Central Walbran is an encouraging first step, it falls short of what is needed.

Vicky Husband, environmental activist and rally speaker confirms. “Let’s call Premier John Horgan’s sleazy forest policies what they are: a colonial defence of 'talk and log’, and a moral failure to protect the province’s remaining old growth forests.  Horgan has sparked a brutal new war in the woods by denying two realities: our forests have been massively over cut for little added value, and we have now come to the long-predicted end of our old-growth forests. It is time for everyone to stand up for Indigenous rights and protection of the seriously endangered remaining old growth forests.”

This grassroots coalition under the guidance and wisdom of Pacheedaht Elder, Bill Jones, has declared its intention to advocate for a immediate pause on old growth clear cutting and support the Fairy Creek blockades until all old-growth forests in BC are protected. 

“I will continue standing for the land until I am dead,” Elder Jones said. “I feel like an old growth tree is worth the same as my life.  I implore people to continue to stand with me to protect our forests from destruction and colonialism; we need allies on the ground to stop old growth logging Iinmy home territory, and for my future generations and relatives.”

A Press Conference moderated by Saul Arbess, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member, will be held at noon, preceding the rally.  The press conference panel will include indigenous voices, forestry researchers and environmental champions.
 

Press Conference Panel:
Patrick Jones, nephew of Elder Bill Jones, Pacheedaht Nation
Shawna Knight, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member and Tree Sitter
Andy McKinnon, Metchosin Cllr., Retired Ecologist, BC Min. of  Forests
Vicky Husband, Environmental Activist, Member of the Order of Canada
Brandi Lancaster- L’alittlilakw of Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw Villages

Brianna Bear, of Songhees Nation, will open the rally, following the Press Conference, with a welcome, territorial acknowledgement, and lead a ritual honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently found at the Kamloops Residential ­School.  Please wear orange in honour of the children.

Rally Co-Ms: 
Jessica Ostroff, Rainforest Flying Squad Tree Sitter
Briony Penn, Environmentalist, Author
Kumi Nash, Youth blockader
Rainbow Eyes, Rainforest Flying Squad Defender


Rally Presenters:
Will O’Connell, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member
Pablo, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member
Gregg McElroy, Canadian Orca Rescue Society
Dr. Suzanne Simard, UBC Professor of Forestry, via audio-link
Bobby Arbess, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member
Rose Henry, Tla’amin Nation
Kathy Code, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member
Tiffany Joseph, Artist and Environmental Speaker
Carol Tootill, Rainforest Flying Squad Core Member


This event will be Livestreamed by Jason Guille of Stream of Consciousness:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9nVpbLrFuI
 

 

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

Day 308 of direct action protecting Vancouver Island's ancient temperate rainforests on Pacheedaht and Ditidaht territories

205 arrests to date and counting

8 total arrests yesterday

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Thursday, June 10th

Ada'itsx / Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory

2000 Road

The RCMP were met yesterday with a fire at the bottom of the hill and a series of soft blockades built of rocks, logs, and debris. Rather than dismantling these by hand, they used a frontloader. 

Next, they encountered a woman who had her arm chained inside a piece of metal that was buried under large rocks. Across from her was a man in a sleeping dragon. Finally was a tripod sitter, towering over two more sleeping dragons, and a single forest defender locked into a metal device under the ground.

RCMP engaged with our police liaison and made the exclusion zone close enough to the action for clear legal observation. 

 

Waterfall Camp, Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory

Today: Despite the province's deferral, RCMP are again enforcing the injunction at Waterfall today. About 23 RCMP vehicles arrived there. We understand that the one km of road-building into Fairy Creek is not deferred.

Thursday, June 10: RCMP met forest defenders on Granite Main at the 1.5 km marker. An RCMP officer instructed a frontloader operator to clear the road of the 30 metres worth of rock and log walls we had constructed. A forest defender stood in front of the machine. He was read the injunction and arrested. 

We had a rare RCMP compliment, marvelling at the increasing intricacy of our constructions. 

They surveyed the area using a drone and helicopter before leaving for the day.

We are wondering if enforcement here will stop, based on the recent deferrals.

 

Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw Territory

Helena Kreowska is now finishing the 10th day of a hunger strike for Fairy Creek. She intends to fast until the trees are protected. See her statement in Focus here.

 

Elder Bill Jones has said unequivocally that now is not the time to stand down. The majority of what we have been defending is still on the chopping block.

More later on the Last Stand at the Legislature rally, today, June 10.

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