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Dispatches from the frontlines of Fairy Creek Rainforest defence


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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
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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.

We're not standing down
Despite last week's announcement by the Province of British Columbia, which defers logging in key areas in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran, the majority of what we've been defending is still on the chopping block. Because this announcement will convince many people that the fight is over, we need you now more than ever.

RCMP enforcement continues, with increasingly dangerous extractions of land defenders, including teenagers. Today the RCMP sent 47 overt officers, at least two special ops officers in camo in the woods, and an unknown number of undercover officers to arrest eight forest defenders. Despite set-backs earlier in the week and ongoing police intimidation and arrests, WE HAVE HELD OUR GROUND! Brave forest defenders of all ages continue to delay industry by chaining themselves to the earth, to logs, to gates, to each other, and suspending themselves high above the earth at the tops of their beloved trees or up in tripods.
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On Friday, hereditary leadership travelled from Fairy Creek to Victoria to join hundreds of supporters on the steps of the legislature. They expressed their outrageat the BCNDP for its ongoing colonial violence and for failing to act on the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review.
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Elder Bill Jones has said unequivocally that now is not the time to stand down.
In the past few days we lost Eden camp, and logging is happening up 2000 road. We need more people - please join us on the ground. If you can't come to camp, look for a local action in your area below. 

Thank you for standing strong with us.

 
COME TO CAMP
 
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 be a source of new information about this once-in-a-lifetime movement.
JOIN OUR LIST
Support land defenders on the ground. 
DONATE TO RFS
DONATE TO SUPPORT INDIGENOUS LAND DEFENDERS
 
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UPCOMING EVENTS + ACTIONS
 
What does the deferral do? 
In Fairy Creek watershed itself, the deferral only impacts one km 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. 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. 

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.
 
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, he 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.
 
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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. The Rainforest Flying Squad/LastStandforForests stands in solidarity with Elder Bill Jones and other members of the Pacheedaht First Nation who want the forests protected.

More information at laststandforforests.com.

Photos by Mike Graeme + Owen Perry 

 

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Reports filtering out through social media say the RCMP have ramped up tactics against forest defenders. They are using undercover cops, overnight raids and floodlights, and other "abuse"—most happening without any media present. Hoping to get more solid report soon.

Meanwhile, read FOCUS new report on media going to BC Supreme Court to challenge RCMP behaviour at Fairy Creek here.

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

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RCMP work to extract a protestor, who is under the tarp alongside the excavation.

 

Excavator Drivers Horrified by RCMP Methods 

of Extracting Old-Growth Forest Protectors

 

Two men with experience driving excavators expressed horror that the machines are being used at such close range to people. RCMP have been using excavators to extract numerous old-growth forest protectors from their individual chain-and-concrete blockades at Ada’itsx / Fairy Creek and other sites in the Port Renfrew area.

“It’s just a complete lack of regard for human life,” said Felix Amuir, owner of Amuir Excavating on Gabriola Island. “They’re clearly not seeing them as people.”

Amuir added that if someone operated an excavator that close to anyone on a job site, WCB could shut the site down. “It’s totally crazy what they’re doing. That’s not how anyone should operate equipment. 

“If you did something like that on a job site, you’d be uninsurable. If you called my insurer and told them I was doing that, they’d drop me like a hot potato. I’d be done. You can’t risk human life like that.”

A protestor named Joshua, who preferred not to use his last name, said he has years of experience using excavators. The buckets are operated using two joysticks, he explained. Moving one a few centimetres causes the bucket to move feet. “They're not designed to extract people, they’re designed to move rocks. The precision isn’t there.

“It’s just insanely dangerous,” he said. “It’s so not worth the risk. Because if he slips on the joystick in the wrong direction -- just slightly -- that bucket’s over their head. You know what I mean? It’s insane that they would allow that.” 

He added he’d seen one video where an RCMP officer, standing beside a protestor, ran from the machine when it moved, while the person on the ground of course could not. “I was just in shock,” he said. 

Carole Tootill is a member of the Rainforest Flying Squad grassroots group that started the blockades. She said one recent day at Hayhaka, she and others gasped as she filmed an excavator bucket working just inches from a young woman’s head as she lay on the ground beneath it.

Joshua was unable to find the regulations for safe excavator use in BC, but said Ontario prohibits workers or others from being within the radius of the bucket’s extended arm, plus two additional feet. He added that in some RFS videos he’s seen, the body of the machine is less than four feet from a protestor.

“From the operator station, when they’re digging, they can’t totally tell where the end of the bucket is, relative to a person,” Amuir said. If such close work was required in order to save someone’s life, he added, there would be a spotter on the ground working with the operator. But in the RFS video he watched, no one was doing that, and the RCMP seemed not to be paying attention to the operator or the bucket. “They’re not even going about it in a safe way, if that was a thing you had to do. Which it’s obviously not.”

Reports from protestors arrested yesterday at Eden Camp said they were so close to the excavator they could feel the machine’s weight shifting, compressing their arms, which were locked to cement beneath the earth.

Joshua explained that both machine error and human error can cause accidents, and that the likelihood of human error increases with stress. Any operator in such circumstances, with police and protestors, would undoubtedly be feeling stress, he said. “It’s so easy to have human error, and that would be catastrophic. Even if the ground shifted a little bit. 

 “The sheer strength of power that’s behind it… “ He expressed disbelief that anyone would use such dangerous equipment so close to a human being. “If you look at deaths in the industry, it’s people working in the vicinity,” he said. “The other thing is that they tip over.”

RCMP have used excavators since about June 7th to extract protestors from the “hard blockades” they sometimes use to slow down police and industry. They are using non-violent methods to  protect old-growth forests at Fairy Creek, Camper Creek and several other camps on Pacheedaht First Nations ancestral territory. 

When enforcement first started five weeks ago, however,  initial extractions were done with jack hammers. RCMP often use "exclusion zones" to keep legal observers and members of the media so far from extractions that they cannot be seen.

Other forest protectors say they have made dozens of concerned calls to WorkSafe BC, but were told they only respond to concerns regarding workers. However, Joshua pointed out that WorkSafe BC’s own website states that the purpose of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation is to “protect workers and other persons present at workplaces from work-related risks to their health, safety, and well-being.”

Saul Arbess, a spokesperson for Rainforest Flying Squad, the group that began their civil disobedience last August to protect Fairy Creek, said protestors are relieved to hear this confirmation that what RCMP are doing is wrong. “These people don’t deserve to be treated with such utter disregard for their lives and safety,” he said. “They are heroes who are peacefully standing up for these last fragments of ancient forests and all the beings that depend upon them to survive.” 

He added that protestors include Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, moms, dads, teenagers, students, teachers, doctors, scientists, forestry workers and many others.

 

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 with LastStandforForests and other like-minded organizations, and stands in solidarity with Elder Bill Jones of the Pacheedaht Nation. More information at laststandforforests.com.

 

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Despite efforts (and deferrals) 35 hectares have been logged in the Caycuse alone

--CaF6PNREgrn0cpmNZiJDGUPufQM-AArCBTkrqBeZ5Z58NTMPbufrdnp-1yoyJ7k4Hy7qCK_LU2AMgF3mQEbqadjdFYXG7U801Z0sBfHEJsRVF9XGhKTGbsqopRGoXQo-NQM3MSA Caycuse tree-sit, before RCMP enforcement (Photographer prefers no credit)

Logging Continues in Ada’itsx / Greater Fairy Creek Rainforest and Other Old-Growth Areas

Despite public expectations that ancient forests have been saved, old-growth logging continues in the intact, adjacent forests surrounding Fairy Creek. Activists say the old-growth logging deferral announced June 9th has changed little. 

While a temporary reprieve is in place for the Fairy Creek watershed itself, huge trees are still being cut down every day in the connected, surrounding forests on Pacheedaht ancestral territory. 

“Most of the ancient forests are still not protected,” explains Carole Tootill, a spokesperson with Rainforest Flying Squad, the grassroots group that started the first blockade to protect old growth last August.

“Logging has not stopped. We are losing more irreplaceable old-growth trees every day. With RCMP using aggressive tactics against our blockades, yet more trees are likely to be extracted before the additional, promised deferrals are announced this summer,” she said.

Rainforest Flying Squad members are calling for more support to defend these last ancient stands. Logging has been ongoing in an area downslope from the ridgeline of Fairy Creek, near 2000 Road, after RFS’s blockade there was overwhelmed by RCMP. All six cut-blocks in Caycuse have been logged since the RFS blockade was defeated by RCMP. 

“The deferral announcement gave a lot of people the idea that logging had halted in these areas,” adds Joshua Wright, another RFS spokesperson. “People thought the protests could relax -- but that isn’t the case. Big trees are being felled every day.”

Wright adds: “The deferral is really more of a distraction than a protection. Our forest defence is able to protect some trees, but we need more forest protectors to keep these ancient trees standing, and make sure they’re protected forever. This is not the time to stand down.”

Satellite images from June 17 clearly show cutting in the remaining old growth. Since the deferral was announced, over 35 hectares have been logged in the Caycuse alone.

“What we are seeing is active clear-cutting in Camper Creek, as well as active cutting up the Road 2000 and in the Caycuse. Road building is continuing into the Bugaboo. Once the roads are built they will enable further clear-cutting of the area,” Wright said. 

“Over 90 hectares of old-growth forest has been logged because of the RCMP's enforcement. And that is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is happening to old growth across the province.”

Despite the enforcement, blockades remain at most locations including Waterfall camp, Ridge camp, Walbran Camp, Sassin Camp and Helicopter Camp. These blockades remain as the last defence for ancient forests. Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones has invited Rainforest Flying Squad members to help him defend this land. Jones wants supporters to hold the camps until all of the old-growth is clearly protected. Until that happens, the Rainforest Flying Squad will remain in place.

There is a growing call for an end to old-growth logging throughout the province. In addition to Victoria, rallies have been held in Vancouver, Castlegar, Davis Bay on the Sunshine Coast, Kelowna, Prince George, Revelstoke, Toronto and even New York. A change.org petition, which calls for the end of old-growth logging in British Columbia and is endorsed by actor Mark Ruffalo, has climbed to just under 70,000 signatures. Meanwhile a recent poll commissioned by the Sierra Club of BC shows that 92% of British Columbians support protecting old growth.

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The same tree-sit, logged after the protestor was arrested by helicopter and the area logged. Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

Edited by Rainforest Flying Squad
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June 23, Part 1: 50 CHALLENGE ILLEGAL EXCLUSION LINE

17 total arrests

2000 CAMP:

▪️ A group of 50 forest defenders kept the RCMP busy by challenging an illegal exclusion line set by the police outside 2000 camp.

▪️Early this morning, and small recon mission headed up to 2000 camp. Finding the camp completely destroyed, they decided to carry on. Before leaving, they noticed that all of the tents and personal belongings forest defenders from yesterday's action were missing.

▪️The loss of these possessions is no small problem, particularly for one blockader who has everything he owns in his backpack. This determined young man made his way to the blockades by train-hopping from Ontario and is now relying entirely on the good will of this movement to survive.

▪️After this scout team returned, a larger group left HQ to conquer the mountain and re-establish camp. The RCMP had set up 2 checkpoints. Four officers stood side by side blocking the road at the first checkpoint, telling defenders not to pass, but ultimately allowing our team through. 4 police vehicles escorted the blockaders up the mountain with great fanfare, sounding their sirens and yelling out of megaphones that they intended to arrest us, should we stay in the road. After a long hike, forest defenders reached a second, more heavily guarded checkpoint complete with a helicopter. 15 crossed this line, despite police threatening to lay criminal charges. This was, and always has been a bluff - every single one of the arrestees today and in every other instance of challenging these illegal exclusion lines has had all charges dropped. This is because these lines are illegally far away from arrests and the officers know these charges would not hold up in court.

▪️Rainbow Eyes, one of our Indigenous leaders in this movement, has been arrested previously. During her first arrest, she was held overnight in a cell for refusing to sign documentation that would prevent her from entering traditional Pacheedaht territories.

We need a moratorium on Old Growth logging.

 

June 23, Part 2:

WATERFALL CAMP HIT - 284 arrest to date

▪️At 10:30PM, RCMP tactical units arrived under cover of night to destroy infrastructure and steal tools. This morning, they followed up, returning at 9:30am to arrest those who locked into devices. All people in non-arrestable roles were escorted off the site, and RCMP set up two exclusion lines - one for the police Liasisons, and a second one further away for everyone else. We have not heard that any media was present and have scant details available. 2 people were extracted from locking devices.

▪️During the extractions, helicopters dropped 4 tactical officers and gear including, possibly 2 ATVs between Ridge and Waterfall. Some police left during the extractions, presumably to destroy some of our blockade materials further up the hill.

▪️Not to sound like a broken record, but we need you. Waterfall Camp is on the brink, and RCMP are on the hill leading up to Ridge camp. We have been compromised behind our lines, and the only thing stopping Fairy Creek's headwaters from getting logged is a few dedicated souls sitting directly in the way.

The BCNDP can say every kind platitude in the world, and deferr already-protected Old Growth stands all day long. The only thing that actually matters is that, under their rule, Ancient Giants are still falling. In fact, the NDP has been coercing First Nations band councils into signing deals that would essentially pay them pennies to give their blessing for this destruction.

There is a better way, and we are determined to see it:

Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

Selective Logging.

A moratorium on Old Growth logging.

We can't bring Horgan to the table without you.

Come to camp.

 

A true story:

During yesterday’s arrest at Waterfall Camp, one defender chose to lay down and be carried out, the blockader was eventually asked if he would like to be transported to the shade.

Under a canopy on the side of a lonely logging road at a morally imperative illegal blockade, a man working for the RCMP and a man fighting for what he believes in regardless of the law came to an understanding.

Exhausted, overworked, and overheated, the officer said, "Man, I don't want to carry you down there."

"Don't take it personal. I'm following my heart here, and I just don't agree with what you're doing," the blockader replied.

They spoke to one another of motivations, or family, and of the future, and at some point, the officer confided that he agreed with what we are doing, and knows full well that it's up to the politicians to make things change.

The blockader asked him "how do we make change?"

"You know," he responded, "maybe it's the way you guys are doing it. Let me know if it works."

Some time later, the officer ended the conversation. "All right brother, what do you want to do? Either way, you'll be at the bottom of the hill. You can go in the cart or walk down. It's up to you?"

"How about you uncuff me, and I get to give you a hug too?"

"I'll give you a fist bump."

They ended up having a hug, and walking down together.

This wasn't an isolated incident today. Another officer gave two of our people a ride down from Waterfall Camp and when they asked him what he thought of "all of this," his answer was, "You should all be proud of yourselves. I think it's working."

This is the third time in two days we have heard police confiding to our forest defenders that they agree with what we are doing.

Government is the only entity with the power to stop ecocide with the simple signing of some documents. To not use this power in the face of such overwhelming evidence of the cliff government-supported practices are walking us off as a species is nothing short of negligent genocide.

We will only be able to stop this by reclaiming our power as people and forcing John Horgan and the BC NDP to the table.

Come to camp.

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June 24 Update

We expanded our camps, as we pass OVER 300 ARRESTS

▪️Imagine a lone forest defender relaxing in a balloon-adorned hammock suspended high off the ground. This is what greeted RCMP when they answered the call to clear the road to Camper’s Creek’s cutblock for industry.

▪️We also saw action at Waterfall Camp. After a long night of shining bright lights on people locked into devices, running generators, idling cars, and threatening to arrest anyone who asked them to turn their cars off, RCMP tried yet again to remove our camp. With ATVs, C-IRG units, and jackhammers, police sought to make quick work of our blockades with supposedly "secret tactics." Tactics so secret in fact, that they set up a media exclusion line so far as to make it literally impossible to capture and report on any of the action. In fact, one media person was arrested for refusing to obey this arbitrarily distant line.

▪️To explain the absence of media to our forest defenders, RCMP indicated that journalists had "gotten lost."

▪️In total, we had three people with their arms in ground holes, one person suspended in a tripod constructed from salvaged wood, and one man with his arms in a large horizontal log suspended in the air by a bank on one side and another log on the other. This man in the log was brutalized by police. When they found that he was not locked in and simply holding his wrists together in the log and unwilling to leave, they told him "We're going to introduce some pain tolerance." Two officers proceeded to pull on either of his arms, with one punching him in the wrist.

▪️During all of this, two of our legal observers decided that extractions that RCMP deemed "too unsafe" for the public to witness were likely too unsafe for the public to not witness. They walked up past the exclusion line, staying unobtrusively to the side of the road. Within minutes, they were arrested. One defender chose to lay down and be carried out. The other chose to walk of her own accord.

The blockade continues, and it desperately needs you.

Come to camp.

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DAILY UPDATE: June 25

Part 1: WE TAKE THE BLOCKADE TO TEAL JONES

18 total arrests today, 320 arrests to date

Old-growth logging protest at Teal Cedar in Honeymoon Bay, Friday morning: Rainbow Eyes, a UVic graduate from the Indigenous Guardianship Program, climbed to the top of the frontloader at a blockade we set up directly at the Teal Jones equipment lot in Mesachie Lake. Of the 20 or so blockaders present, she was the last to be removed. When RCMP reached her on the top of the frontloader, she went limp using her body as a wrench in the metaphorical gears of this machine programmed to turn natural wonders into dollars. Left with no other options, RCMP wrapped her torso with a sling, hooked her up to the bucket of a full-sized excavator and lowered her off the machine.

@arvinoutsidesignal-2021-06-25-211915_007.thumb.jpeg.f69e7aca7b6b394676a197fc54a29d23.jpeg

 

Part 2: RCMP RISK KILLING A WOMAN

▪️At the same time as the arrests at Teal-Jones’ equipment lot, a small group chose to lock themselves arm to arm in steel tubes in a device we call the friendship bracelet, across a bridge of Braden Main.

▪️The forest defenders on Braden Main were arrested, but not a single arrest occurred at Waterfall camp.

▪️Finally, RCMP began enforcement at 2000 Camp. Where there were two tripods and two sleeping dragons.

▪️The first tripod was 20 feet tall, and of all the extractions for the day, this was by far the most poorly handled.

▪️The forest defender sitting atop the tall tripod was joined by a C-IRG RCMP officer in tactical green. He got out a thin seat-belt-like strap of webbing. He slipped this webbing around her torso just above her solar plexus. The strap was arranged in a slipknot such that the more weight is put on it, the tighter it constricts. While the stoic forest defender calmly maintained non-violent discipline in remaining limp while the officer attempted to manipulate her body out of the perch, a sudden pain gripped her chest. “It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced,” she recounted, as the strap constricted around her ribs with the full weight of her own body.

▪️Police summoned an ambulance to give the injured blockader medical attention. She could have broken a rib, which under the increasing constriction of the strap would have driven it straight into her lung, puncturing it, causing her lungs to fill with fluid, killing her before she even got to the hospital.

▪️ At the hospital she was given an x-ray and ultrasound which showed no broken bones, but spasming muscles and severely inflamed intercostals were readily apparent.

▪️Right now, the RCMP has quads on the mountain between Waterfall and Ridge Camp. They want to end this quickly. They want to keep the public unaware of what’s happening out here and why. We are fighting to defend the last slivers of biodiversity in this province.

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

TEAL JONES PROPOSAL COULD CAUSE BC TAXPAYERS 
TO  BEAR THE BURDEN OF FOREST DEFENDERS’
 PROSECUTIONS

 

July 8, 2021, Duncan, B.C.  Teal Jones this week asked the court to invite the BC Attorney General (AG) to take on the ongoing prosecutions of forest defenders. This request will alleviate Teal Jones of the financial and procedural burdens of prosecuting more than a hundred forest defenders. 

These defenders, with Indigenous leaders, have been protecting old growth ancient rainforest areas mostly within Tree Farm Licence #46. More than 350 people have been arrested since the RCMP began enforcing the Teal Jones injunction, but as of July 4 of this year, RCMP have recommended charges against approximately 150 people.

Teal Jones continues to log the ancient forests, even adjacent to the deferred Fairy Creek watershed. That is why forest defenders remain.” says Saul Arbess of the Rainforest Flying Squad.

BC Supreme Court Justice Thompson has invited the AG to assess the evidence and determine whether to proceed on charges of criminal contempt.

Crown prosecutor Trevor Shaw  told the court he would have a response by July 19 as to whether the government intends to prosecute people for criminal contempt.  

The AG has stated that if it accepts the invitation of the court, defendants will be grouped and trials scheduled by arrest date and location. The AG voiced preference to have two judges assigned to provide regular court dates and the ability to accommodate the large number of arrestees. The Vancouver courthouse is being considered for its location, large rooms, video services, and an ability to handle large numbers of the public.  

Arbess adds, “Taxpayers will bear the cost of even more financial support to an already overly-subsidized logging industry. How long will taxpayers have to wait before the Premier upholds his promise to implement the recommendations of the 2020 Old Growth Strategic Review?“

Shaw stated that prosecutions could begin in late September or October. 

Prosecutions would take a minimum of 15 weeks at the current number of people charged, and if no further charges are laid against other arrestees. Given that arrests continue on a daily basis, the prosecutions could take years, leaving BC taxpayers to foot the bill, while eliminating the financial and procedural burdens for Teal Jones. 

 

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.

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
  • DAILY UPDATE 📌

    Part 1, July 12, TEAL-JONES LOGGER SAVAGELY BEATS CHAINED FOREST DEFENDER
    ▪️403 Arrested to date 

    ▪️ In a bid to distract police from Waterfall Camp and defend ancient forests elsewhere, they set up barricades of rock and stone in front of a gate. Three defenders, including two minors aged 15 and 16 were chained to the gate on Gordon River Road near Honeymoon Bay.

    ▪️Glen (The logger who committed the assault) and his coworkers arrived after a series of visits from police and more peaceful loggers.

    ▪️While most of the loggers remained calm Glen started to become violent.

    ▪️With the barricades partially removed, Glen approached the gate’s locking mechanism through which a forest defender had chained himself. Glen grabbed the arrestee’s arm so he could try to pry it out from the lock. The Blockader reached up towards Glen to try to push him away and Glen leaped at the blockader, throwing punches. Helpless to defend himself, Glen’s fist smashed into the blockader’s face over and over again as onlookers cried for him to stop, begging his coworkers to intervene.

    ▪️Witnesses called the RCMP. The RCMP hung up on them.

    ▪️When the barricades were removed, Glen again snapped. Throwing blockaders who had positioned themselves in a guarding circle around the chained man, Glen dove under the gate, tackling the man against it. He threw more punches, but this time forest defenders managed to hold him and pull him off after not too long. He did however smash the chained man’s head against the gate.

    ▪️Paramedics arrived. We are unsure of his condition at this time; we know that when he was released later from RCMP custody he was unable to chew anything.

    ▪️An industry manager showed up to the site to survey the situation. The manager called the police.

    ▪️Eventually the police began the work of extracting those attached to the gate. Removing the beaten man was a simple matter of severing the chain. In a bewildering move, the RCMP are investigating the man who was repeatedly smashed in the face for assault.

     
    Part 2: In which police assaulted an indigenous man

    ▪️A few weeks ago the RCMP set up a stopping point called an Access Control Point (ACP) on Pacific Marine Road, restricting all access to the forests in the direction of Avatar and Eden Groves. Members of the public unassociated with the blockades have been turned away from hiking or sight-seeing.

    ▪️Today we challenged the perversion of democracy that is the ACP.
    Blockaders drove to the control point and attempted to pass RCMP vehicles. An Indigenous forest defender put his body on the line to allow two vehicles through. With only two officers, the blockader knew he would be able to pull them to the side if he put himself in an arrestable position. They arrested him, and rather than standing where he was, he walked to the side of the road and layed down. The RCMP treated him quite roughly in an attempt to get control of his body. One of them kneeled on his head.

    ▪️“You can’t come in,” was the message officers had given him. As a first nations person he was confused why he was unable to pass. He was heartened by the support he received from his fellow forest defenders: “Once on the ground, they kind of roughed me up. Normally people are kicking me and not cheering me on when I get arrested.” This was a harsh reminder of the systemic racism apparent in law enforcement.

    ▪️While being arrested, he shouted for people to go past as welcome guests on the land. Two vehicles managed to get past, one of which only did so because a blockader put her body between an officer and the driver of the vehicle, preventing the officer from removing the keys. She was later charged with assaulting an officer while she stood peacefully, occasionally shifting her stance with her back to an officer. Allegedly the shifting of her stance caused her to brush up against an officer, which they deemed assault.

    ▪️Neither of these actions would have been necessary if we had more people at camp.

    ▪️We desperately need your help. Please, come to camp.
     
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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad
Logging Continues Despite Extremely Flammable Conditions 

BUGABOO CREEK, VANCOUVER ISLAND, July 16, 2021

Despite tinder-dry conditions and high to extreme fire-danger ratings throughout Vancouver Island, logging continues in the Bugaboo region near Greater Fairy Creek.  

Satellite imagery shows that since Friday July 9, several hundred metres have been felled to provide road access for clearcut logging. 

This old-growth forest is outside of the recently-announced deferral areas. Road building is the first step in the logging process and is extremely destructive, requiring the removal of trees before grading and levelling to make way for logging trucks. Roads have detrimental effects on wildlife, and also open forests up to poaching of trees and animals.

Early Wednesday morning a handful of activist protectors set up a pop-up blockade at the Bugaboo worksite. They began with six lines of rock and log walls across the road, then drilled arm holes into a large log that they locked themselves to. They began with 6 lines of rock and log walls across the road. Workers arrived on site around 5 a.m. and called police, who later extracted and arrested three people. 

“This road-building is devastating a unique and spectacular ecosystem, abundant with ancient red and yellow cedars. About 4 km of roads have been approved through this irreplaceable old growth.” – said ‘Doghair’ of the RFS.

Rainforest Flying Squad forest defenders have remained at Fairy Creek to protect the regions last ancient forests. In light of the high fire rating they have been diligent about their own activities. Camps have implemented strict protocols that include 24 hour a day fire-watch patrols, banning outdoor smoking, prohibiting campfires, and more.

Weve consulted with the Fire Marshall and are acting on those recommendations with fire mitigation policies, as well as fire response plans. We arent here to protect these rainforests, only to see them succumb to a wildfire,” says Kathleen Code, a member of the Rainforest Flying Squad who helped develop the fire protocols. 

Everyone recognizes the need to protect the forest from human impacts whether it is logging or fire,” she adds.  “We have a responsibility. These conditions are driven by climate change. Clearing more trees will only make it worse.”

Forest defenders are questioning why logging and road building have not been stopped to reduce the risk of wildfires. The BC Wildfire Act and Regulationdefines mechanical logging and land clearing as a high-risk activity. Its common for logging operations to cease during risk of wildfire due to heavy equipment throwing off sparks.

Were concerned that in this early wildfire season, Teal-Jones is trying to log as much as possible before shutting down due to the fire danger. Were worried they are downing trees and leaving slash piles that are tinder dry.” notes Carole Tootill, another RFS member.

Only 2.6% of these intact ancient old-growth rainforests remain in British Columbia. With climate change bringing increasingly dry summers, fire threat in the Bugaboo and surrounding areas also rises. 

Outside BC, there is increasing interest in protecting old-growth forests in order to help mitigate climate change. Yesterday, US president Biden moved to restore protection of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from road-building and large-scale logging of old-growth forests. Washington state also retains some old-growth forests as a method of sequestering carbon, called ‘pro-forestation’.

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Guest Rainforest Flying Squad

 

JULY 12 - 19 WEEKLY REPORT 🌲
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Day 60 of Police Enforcement
Day 343 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island's Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Ancestral Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territory
47 arrests this week
444 arrests to date and counting
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This week has been chock full of action. As per usual (with the exception of last Sunday), the RCMP did not enforce the injunction, making it a relatively quiet day on the frontlines.
Here’s the day-by-day breakdown of the major events from this past week:
MONDAY
This was the most violent day of the movement so far. There’s no sugar-coating it. A disgruntled logger assaulted an admittedly cheeky, but completely peaceful forest defender who was almost completely defenseless. He had one hand chained into the gate’s locking channel and his legs u-locked together. The logger grabbed his locked arm, trying to get around it to the padlock inside, all the while grinding his arm painfully against the metal. Because of this assault, he could not close his fist for at least two hours after he was extracted.
Trying to stop the pain, the forest defender reached out to push the logger away, and the logger simply started punching him, mainly in the head.
The logger left the man bruised and bleeding to continue dismantling a blockade of sticks and rocks forest defenders had constructed. When he finished this deconstruction, he again assaulted the same restrained forest defender, tackling him, throwing punches and smashing his head into the gate.
The assaulted man was heartbroken by these assaults, but will not let it break him.
“I’m angry, but not at Glen. I’m angry at the system that put Glen in this position. I’m angry at Horgan for not keeping his promise and for bringing me here to do it for him.
“I’m happy I was able to protect my friends. I’m grateful I can take a hit.
“And,” he said tearing up in an interview, “I am blessed to have the sense of humour to not be broken by this.
“But, it still hurts, and I’m healing. And I have friends, and I have love.”
We have taken a full interview with him, and will be releasing it this week.
ALSO MONDAY
On this same day, we had action on another front. The RCMP have been restricting public access to sightseeing landmarks and ancient forests in the Avatar Grove area. They call this the Access Control Point. Forest defenders challenged it en masse. One Indigenous defender was arrested and then assaulted for laying on the ground on the side of the road while yelling for people to drive their vehicles past. Several people were later arrested, some without warning when RCMP reinforcements showed up.
TUESDAY
Enforcement at Waterfall Road Tuesday was crowned by a recent graduate student of arts recreating a performance piece for RCMP as she sat atop a 20-foot-tall tripod directly above 5 blockaders into the ground. The original art piece was 1000 seconds (17 minutes) of wailing and screaming in a clearcut for the sorrow and rage she feels at the rampant thoughtless destruction of ancient forests that continues across this province.
5 minutes into the screaming, the RCMP asked her if she could stop as she was hurting their ears. She relented. She was extracted by a jerky excavator operator and C-IRG ropes team specialist, luckily without incident.
WEDNESDAY
We’ve been aware for a little while that roadbuilding is happening in the Bugaboo Forest, one of the most densely populated ancient yellow and red cedar old growth forests on Vancouver Island outside of the Central Walbran. Short on numbers, we sent a small mission out to the Bugaboo to halt road building for at least one day.
After staying up all night building a blockade, the small group of locked-in forest defenders were greeted by two verbally aggressive loggers who even charged them with their machines (an excavator and a grader). Ultimately however, one of the two loggers calmed down enough to have a full conversation. Having a daughter who fully supports us, he revealed to forest defenders a common thought amongst loggers: he agrees with our goals, but not how we are trying to reach them. The suggestion, as it has been since time immemorial in civil disobedience movements, is that we should go through traditional channels and speak to politicians and corporations directly. We've all been doing this for years now and only received the same answer over and over again: talk and log. Commission a study and log. Campaign promises and log. All the while, the ancient giants have fallen and the clearcuts that are destroying our local climate and waterways continue.
We hope this logger can come to understand that this is what being out of options looks like.
THURSDAY
The RCMP got the better of us this day in two ways. First, they convinced an industry consultant with a CV longer than his arm that his recommendations for handling a particularly dangerous forest defence hole known as The Well would be respected. This man, a forest defender himself with 18 years' experience operating excavators building forestry roads, instructed RCMP that if an excavator were to go anywhere near the 6 foot deep hole, it would collapse, and crush the forest defender chained to the bottom.
They promised him he would be able to stay on site and advise on this extraction.
As he was discussing with the RCMP's Division Liaison Team exactly what this would look like, another officer came up behind him and arrested him without warning.
The second way they got the better of us was by convincing the man chained into the bottom of The Well to say he needed help from the RCMP to get out. In doing so, they were able to declare the whole area a Search and Rescue operation, which made every forest defender who was clipped in and able to remove themselves technically “interfering with a Search and Rescue operation.” Not wanting to risk a criminal charge they were not versed in, all but one of our defenders simply unchained themselves and walked away.
FRIDAY
Three major things happened on Friday.
1. Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones hosted an emergency meeting to ask for a renewed commitment to peaceful interaction in light of the violent assaults on a single forest defender earlier this week. Marlene, Bill’s brother from Wet'suwet'en, spoke of solidarity. RCMP attended, but only via low-flying helicopter, disrupting the event.
2. On Waterfall Road, an officer showed up and attempted to dismantle a still-drying quadruple sleeping dragon (four PVC pipes encased in cement with locking mechanisms at the bottom) by scooping the still wet cement directly out of the form with his bare hands. A forest defender leapt into action, scooping the cement back into the form, making the most inefficient assembly line in history.
When the officer threatened him with arrest, he replied “Well, I was looking forward to being arrested criminally, so you may as well get on with it.”
On a second threat, he laid down on top of the contraption, halting any more concrete removal. The officer gave up and left.
3. C-IRG showed up at Hawk's Nest (a camp above River) with a Media Relations Officer (MRO) for some reason via helicopter. They immediately set about destroying blockade materials, dumping bags of concrete off cliffs, shredding ropes to bits. One blockader engaged the MRO in discussion about the merits of blockading and who suggested we ought to follow the rule of law. Our response to this mirrors that of the forest defender.
“I proposed to him that it is possible to break the law in order to uphold higher laws, and that government officials are breaking the law by condemning the population to extinction in the next few centuries.”
SATURDAY
We took back Well Camp, just two days after it was lost.
A group of about 15 ran down the hill, past the police exclusion line and straight to the recently filled-in Well. Over the course of 5 hours, they managed to dig the entire 5 long by 6 foot deep trench back out with only hand tools, despite requiring a human shield of 12-13 forest defenders with arms linked surrounding them and isolating them from repeated attempts of police interference.
As soon as the hole was done, two forest defenders jumped in with a friendship bracelet (a metal pipe that one arm each locks into) connecting them. Their extraction took 4 hours. One of the women was actually cut on her finger by the angle grinder the police used and was denied any medical treatment.
"The angle grinder actually cut my finger. I screamed, started crying because I didn’t know how big or deep the cut was. It was quite a blur for me after that. I was arrested, brought to the vehicle. There was a self proclaimed medic at the truck and he said “Let me see your wound”. He didn’t have any antiseptic, so he poured water on it and told me “There’s no way you just got this cut. This wound is at least two days old.”"
--
This was one of the most intense weeks we've had to date.
Our refusal to lay down and accept the destruction of our natural world, the trampling of Indigenous values, may push RCMP and industry to more drastic measures, but every week, we keep getting stronger. This movement will meet its goals and it’s because we are resilient, no matter what the RCMP, aggressive individual loggers (who certainly don’t speak for all loggers), or the government throws at us.
We keep getting stronger because we are fueled by love, passion, and the knowledge that we speak for the majority of the residents of the province when we say we need forestry reform and true Indigenous sovereignty.
“Even though it is a hard situation, I cannot see myself doing anything that feels more important than this. Despite how terrifying it was, there was nothing I would rather have been doing at that moment.”
It's time for your voice to join us. We need your strength, passion, love, and resolve.
Find your place in history.
Come to camp.
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WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
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COME TO CAMP!
Join us at Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) HQ!! Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY.
We are in wildfire season and as such you MUST read our fire safety protocols BEFORE coming to camp: http://bit.ly/3dNxMFl
Read our pre-arrival info sheet: http://bit.ly/FCBarrivalinfo
Worried about getting arrested? Here’s some educational information: http://bit.ly/FCBarrestee
DRIVING?
HELP OUT!
Backcountry hikers/campers, climbers, tradesmen, kitchen, visitor services, logistics, you name it, we need it! Come prepared to wield your unique skillset & creativity for the betterment of the movement. It is up to YOU to figure out where and how you can be most useful. Get up in it! Visit different camps! Meet people! Ask around!! Find gaps!!!
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CAN’T MAKE IT HERE?
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REMOTE POSITIONS OPEN NOW!
Communications, social media management, research, fundraising, content creation, graphic design, video editing, writing, outreach, admin, legal, strategy, local organization, the list goes on. Got skills? Got heart? We’d love your help!
Fill out our intake form now: https://bit.ly/FCBintake
DONATE!
-Support for supplies and legal fees:
-Current list of supplies & physical donations required:
JOIN A LOCAL EVENT!
Check with your local Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, or any other activist group focused on protecting our future and Indigenous sovereignty. If there aren’t any in your area, rally a few friends and start your own!
Check this page: http://bit.ly/LS4Fevents
CALL YOUR MLA EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Find your MLA's number here: https://bit.ly/MLAEveryDay
GOT HEALING/THERAPY SKILLS?
We are developing a network of health practitioners to help forest defenders both on and off site. If you are willing to offer healing help, sign up here: http://bit.ly/FCBtherapy
SIGN PETITIONS & MEET YOUR MLA!
-Link to all ancient forest petitions:
-Stand.earth MLA Action Toolkit
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THANKS FRIENDS!
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Klecko klecko! In solidarity, thank you 🙂
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"We thought your purpose is to serve and protect Canadians. Instead, you have used your paramilitary force of trained personnel, helicopters, tracking dogs, threats and intimidation with increasing brutality and harshness." See the Open Letter to the RCMP from the Rainforest Flying Squad, and it's lengthy, disturbing rapsheet.

 

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Rainforest Flying Squad Also Concerned with Cutting of Trees

July 25, 2021:  Like RCMP Chief Supt. John Brewer, protestors at Ada’itsx / Fairy Creek are also gravely concerned about the felling of trees. In fact, this concern is the reason they have been blockading Fairy Creek and other areas in the Port Renfrew region, on Pacheedaht traditional territory, for nearly one year now.

Although Premier Horgan deferred logging in June for two years, at Fairy Creek and in the central Walbran, forest defenders say this was no victory. Deferrals are not protection. Meanwhile, our last fragments of old-growth forests continue to disappear at the rate of 30 soccer fields per day on Vancouver Island alone. And BC Timber Sales is auctioning cutblocks at an even greater rate than previously..

Despite its promises last year to fulfill the Old Growth Strategic Review recommendations, the NDP government still has not protected these precious and irreplaceable forests.

Elder Bill Jones, the Pacheedaht elder who welcomed the Rainforest Flying Squad to his territory to protect the old growth, said he does not disapprove of protestors cutting down small second-growth trees in order to protect the old growth. (See his statement, below.)

“I express my support to the young people to hang in there to protect and care for the old growth,” he said.

Elder Bill emphasized that the greater concern is the protection of the old growth forest. These ancient forests have been proven by science to provide countless benefits to humanity and the planet, from providing oxygen, filtering water, retaining moisture, cooling and cleaning the air, to providing rich habitat for countless species – far more than any second-growth forest can do.

Retaining old-growth forests is also considered one of the best ways to mitigate climate change. So we are very glad to hear that the RCMP share our concern.

Protestors said they did cut some small trees down on Saturday to block a road near Waterfall Camp at Fairy Creek. Their action slowed the RCMP from reaching forest defenders who were chained into structures. In fact, it enabled the group to take back 1.5 km of ground that was previously lost to RCMP at Waterfall Camp, and helped protect nearby camps..

“Yeah, cutting trees is awful, and that’s why we’re here,” said one. Another added that if the blockades were to fall, all those trees and many more would either be cut down or considered weed species and killed with pesticides by the logging company. While RFS works to halt the logging of old-growth trees, it does support continued second-growth logging.

RCMP also accused protestors of risking forest fires with the use of chainsaws and because one person was seen smoking a cigarette as he sat on a tripod on a gravel road. Elder Bill had instructed protestors not to smoke outside of cars, and that has been re-emphasized. RFS members instituted a strict fire safety protocol last month. When they need to cut wood, they use hand saws or battery operated chainsaws to reduce fire risk. However, protestors note that RCMP have been using angle grinders, which create sparks, during extractions, and have also used chainsaws themselves to clear the road. 

RCMP have also cut down trees themselves at Waterfall Camp when they moved the excavator off-road to get past protestors who are chained into “hard blockades.” Despite the extreme fire risk, loggers are still felling trees just 10 km away for road-building in the Bugaboo area.

Among the thousands of people who have demanded that BC halt the logging of old-growth forests are the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, more than 100 well-known Canadians such as Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Adrienne Clarkson, and Brian Mulroney, as well as Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, UBC professor Suzanne Simard, scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger, countless citizen petitions, 223 international scientists, and numerous municipal councils, including Cumberland, Courtenay, Lantzville, Comox Valley Regional District, Metchosin, Powell River, Port Moody, Saanich, Nanaimo, Victoria, and the Local Government Association of BC.

Solidarity rallies and protests have been held regularly in Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Squamish, Tofino, Prince George and even Toronto. Last month, the Sierra Club of BC released the results of a survey that found 85% of British Columbians want old growth forests protected.

Clearly, we and the RCMP are not alone in our concern for trees.

 

Elder Bill Jones’ statement:

“They’re only cutting on the right-of-way, which will be cut again anyway. That’s common practice.” He said loggers refer to the young trees at the sides of roads as “dog hair”, and when they get in the way of logging trucks they are mowed down or uprooted and put to the side.

“It’s not really something to make a mountain out of. It’s not a threat to the ecology. It’s okay with me. It’s not an offence to me, or anyone.There’s miles and miles of second growth on rights-of-way that’s simply mowed down.

“I don’t pretend that the Pacheedaht or any mankind owns the old growth. I feel the old growth belongs to the Great Mother and it’s our duty --  and all our duty --  to protect and care for it. Whereas the company and the loggers are using every little excuse to impair and deface our intentions of saving the old growth.

“They seek to embarrass us, and they’re using every means possible that they can create to harm our honest intentions, of caring for our old growth. Whereas they have the grim intention of cutting it down.

“I express my support to the young people to hang in there to protect and care for the old growth. My grandfather said the forest doesn’t belong to anybody; the forest is the forest’s. It’s a separate energy that includes us in its growth. Grandpa said we’re not owners of the forest, and we have to ask what the forest gives us.

“In order to respect the forest we have to protect and care for the last of the old growth. Essentially, the kids are actually doing that, by using what they feel our Great Mother lets them use to help our Great Mother protect and care for the last of her old growth. My assertion here isn’t so much economic or legal, it’s a spiritual assertion that the old growth are spiritual energies in themselves that nurture and care for us, and give us direction.

“The usage there is for the sake and for the protection of the old growth.

“I congratulate them. They don’t mean harm.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ada’itsx/Fairy Creek Blockades, One Year Milestone Event

Where: Provincial Legislature, Victoria, B.C on Lekwungen territory with gratitude for the blessing of living and working for a healed world on this beautiful land.

When: August 9th, 2021, 3 pm- 10:30 pm (start with March from Blanshard St. courthouse at 2 pm)

Voices from the Ancestral Forest Frontlines

This gathering is in honour of the 1 year milestone of the Ada’itsx/ Fairy Creek blockades, began one year ago on the night of August 9th on the ridge into the headwaters of the unlogged Fairy creek watershed, where road crews were prevented from breaching the Ridge the next day.

365 days and 500+ arrests later and through the involvement and sacrifices of thousands of conscientous protectors and a massive groundswell of public support, Ada’itsx remains whole!
It is time to celebrate this 1 year of uninterrupted land-based resistance to the juggernaut of industrial liquidation of the last stands of ancient temperate rainforest and unite with forest defenders across so-called BC to demand an end to old-growth logging once and for all, with a publically-funded just transition strategy for workers and communities!

Join us for a day of ceremony, speakers, performances, photo installations, info tables, film screenings, and testimony from the frontlines.

Be inspired by an action rooted in unity and solidarity with frontline land defenders, forest protectors, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and First Nations and Indigenous community members asserting Title and rights to defend sovereign homelands. The climate and environmental scourge of old-growth logging continues on unceded territories without consent.
The event begins at 2 pm with a street procession from the Victoria courthouse on Blanshard street as we proceed to the Legislature for 3 pm.

ITINERARY
2 pm march from the Blanshard St. Courthouse after a few punchy speakers
3 pm Gather at Legislature for Opening Ceremony including a traditional welcome from Augie Thomas and the Esquimault Singers and Dancers.
3:30- Kwakiutl hereditary Chief Dave Mungo Knox fighting to end logging destruction on their land will lead a Copper ceremony
Speakers:
*Emcees: W’SANEC land defender Paul Chiyokten Wagner, Tli’amon urban Indigenous activist Grandma Losah aka Rose Henry and frontline land defender Joey
5-6 pm: Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones, UBCIC Vice President Chief Don Tom (Tsartlip) and Kukpi7 Judy Wilson Chief Judy Wilson (Secwepemc) and Tla-o-qui-aht Master carver and knowledge-keeper Joe Martin
6-6:30 Musical break with CelloBride and Pat and Laura
6:30-7 :30 pm: Indigenous youth land defenders, frontline forest protectors and RFS reps including Shawna Knight, Ty Cooke, Emily Kane, Okamaw, Carole Tootill and RFS lawyer Noah Ross
7:30-8 pm Hip hop with Nostic and Nicky
8 pm World-renowned Forest ecologist, UBC Professor and author Dr. Suzanne Simard
8:30-9:15 pm Green Party federal MPs Elizabeth May and Paul Manly
*Bird biologist Royanne Petrell and lichenologist Tasha Ladovsky
9:15-10:pm Musical segment: Andrea Smith; Bill Marshall; Oliver Swain and friends
10-10:30 pm Film screening including trailer from resident blockade film-makerJen Muranetz’ film ” Standing with the Ancients” and assorted indy shorts
10:30-11 pm Ecstatic Dance Party

BACKGROUND:
This summer an all-time record-breaking heatwave destroyed the town of Lytton and wiped out an estimated billion marine intertidal organisms on the coast in days. BC is burning at the same time logging is approved to obliterate ancient forests when there is less than 2.7% left. Old growth is our best natural defense against runaway climate change yet extraction has increased by 42% to capitalize on the demands of a booming foreign log market.

Over 500 brave and tenacious forest protectors, many representing a younger generation, are literally protecting their future from the grim impacts of a colonial-capitalist economy bent on killing the planet. They have been arrested in militarized RCMP enforcement operations under conditions of egregious civil rights violations for protecting some of the last old-growth forest stands on Pacheedaht territory; an invitation given by hereditary chief, Victor Peter, and respected Elder Bill Jones.

In a country being forced to confront its genocidal history of oppression and forced assimilation of Indigenous people during a climate and biodiversity crisis we gather to support the strong leadership and declarations of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). This calls for an immediate halt to logging of at-risk old-growth forests on unceded territories and the nations including Kwakiutl, Squamish, Nuxalk, Gitx’san and others that have declared logging moratoriums on their ancestral lands with the voices of elders, youth and matriarchs of First Nations communities ignored by a government that pays lip service to climate action and Indigenous rights. While the NDP drags its heels in delivering promises to work with First Nations towards sweeping forestry reforms, the shocking equivalent of 500 soccer fields of old-growth forests are felled by industry in BC every day!

We say enough is enough! We stand with Indigenous land defenders, activist forest protectors, and sovereign Indigenous nations to stop the colonial violence on the lands, waters, salmon and people to protect these globally significant, irreplaceable forests. In the wise words of Bill Jones these forests are, “our last connection to our pre-colonial sensitivity.”
Please come out to share your love to the people sacrificing on the frontlines and the Indigenous nations struggling for their land back!

UBCIC Protect Our Elder Trees Declaration, July 28:
https://www.ubcic.bc.ca/wildfires_logging_and_climate

PROTOCOLS:
Very sadly, there has been a backlash of racism against Indigenous people in the local communities, following recent decolonial events at the Legislature. It is important to remain mindful of how our behaviour can trigger reactions in haters that potentially bring harm to vulnerable communities. This event is under firm protocols from the local host nations for people who are guests on this territory to conduct ourselves in a peaceful way and to refrain from engaging in actions that can bring harm on BIPOC peoples on this territory.

CODE OF CONDUCT:
Look after each other.
Nonviolent.
Avoid engaging abusive people.
Practice Covid protocols.
If you are approached by the media, please ask them to speak first to people who have been on the frontlines, particularly Indigenous people, women and youth.
Avoid smoking for the health of many of our seniors and disabled people

BANNERS:
Please continue the tradition of bringing large colourful banners to share the message of standing with communities who are actively resisting the destruction of life on Earth and holding government responsible for the destructive status quo. Banners are being requested on the frontlines so consider making one that you can leave with us

SELF-CARE:
This will be a long day in what could be more intense sun and heat. Please take good care of yourselves packing a folding chair, blankets, lots of water, food and sun protection. Prepare to picnic. We will be providing port-a-potties and drinking water and during part of the day the RBCM museum washrooms are available as well. We are trying to make arrangements for food trucks on site.

DONATIONS:
Please help us cover the costs of chair, table and tent and other rentals, sound system, speakers’ honoraria, copying, port-a-potty etc. Etransfers can be made to rain4estflyingsquad@gmail.com with a note that the donation is for the A9 event! Thanks!

Supporting groups:
Rainforest Flying Squad
Wednesday Rallies for Ancient Forests+Forest Protectors
Social Environmental Alliance
Elders for Ancient Trees
Urban Actions for Ancient Forests
Friends of Carmanah Walbran
Protectors of the Salish Sea
Climate Justice Victoria
Indigenous Solidarity Working Group
Island Forest Futures
Red Cedar Cafe
Stream of Consciousness ( who will be livestreaming for the day)

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to make this event happen and to the courage, tenacity, creativity and never-say-die spirit of the frontline forest protectors, the Indigenous youth, elder Bill Jones, young Chief Victor Peter and the Rainforest Flying Squad for inspiring a new generation of resistance for the ancient forests!

 
 
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  • 2 weeks later...

OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER JOHN HORGAN, SOLICITOR GENERAL MIKE FARNWORTH, ATTORNEY GENERAL DAVID EBY, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER GEORGE HEYMAN, INDIGENOUS RELATIONS MINISTER MURRAY RANKIN, TOM AND DICK JONES OF TEAL JONES GROUP AND DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DWAYNE MCDONALD OF THE RCMP 

So this is how you want Fairy Creek to go down? With RCMP smashing car windows, conducting illegal searches, stealing personal possessions and giving them to Teal Jones, threatening and inflicting harm on peaceful protesters, defying court orders that declare the illegality of exclusion zones, attempting to fetter the press, targeting Indigenous and people of colour with long-standing deep-seated and systemic racism? This is the best you can do in dealing with peaceful protesters in a civil society, and who have every right to practice civil disobedience?  

This is how you want to be forever remembered? Make no mistake, your names will be etched into the annals of history as those representatives of state, corporations and law enforcement who cared more for protecting the financial interests of big business than the interests of the people. Was this a good use of the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on the RCMP tactical squad? It’s a safe bet the expense far exceeds any stumpage fees coming to government from TFL#46.

What we have just witnessed is the true nature of the forces aligned against the people—the Indigenous peoples who hold rights and title to natural resources, the BC citizens who work hard every day to make ends meet, the coming generations who may never know the beauty and grace of an intact forest.  Yet, what we have endured at your hands over the past year is but a fraction of what Indigenous people have suffered over hundreds of years of oppression. We, as settlers, have come to realize the true history of how our society was built and we are here to stand with our Indigenous brothers and sisters to see that the balance of power changes now and forever.

The fact that you continue to forge this unholy alliance in the face of the existential climate crisis in which we are now living, the scientists who call for the preservation of old growth forests and all the biodiversity they contain, the recent IPCC report, the inherent rights of Indigenous people to their unceded territories speaks volumes of the depth of your lack of understanding of your duty to Indigenous peoples, citizens and the generations to come.  

Peaceful, honourable and immovable—that has been our creed all along. It is certainly not yours.  While we may have lost some ground, we remain steadfast.  The time has come to elevate our campaign to an international audience, where the voices of the world can rise in protest at the destruction of our old growth forests. We will continue our work in peace.   

Kathleen Code

I acknowledge that I am residing on the territory of the Coast Salish peoples and I thank them for allowing me to live and learn together on their territory.  

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