Jump to content

Rainforest Flying Squad

Members
  • Posts

    20
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Rainforest Flying Squad's Achievements

  1. BC Doctors and Nurses Join Call to Halt Old Growth Logging Sign On Letter Indicates Huge Support Across Province October 8, 2021: Hundreds of physicians and nurses throughout BC are adding their voices to the urgent call to end old growth logging. A letter to John Horgan signed by over 280 members of the BC medical community will be presented on Tuesday, October 12. Endorsement of the letter is continuing to grow as more health care workers are signing daily. “I strongly believe it is imperative to halt old growth logging as a contributor to climate change and its deleterious effect on the wellbeing of British Columbians,” says Dr. Dan O’Connell, co-author of the letter. “As doctors and nurses our profession’s bedrock demands we act expediently to restore the health of our patients. A report over one year old providing a roadmap to address forestry management lies dormant. We see renewed discussions every year when communities are coping with wildfire smoke, heat waves, floods and crop failure. Meanwhile, climate anxiety is a huge issue and it’s affecting people every day, yet no action is taken.” Posted on September 29, 2021, the letter has been signed by doctors and nurses across the province including emergency room physicians, family doctors, nurses, surgeons and retired physicians. Canadian doctors and nurses have long had an interest in environmental health. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) was formed in 1993 and the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE) was formed in 2010. "The climate crisis is a health emergency and it is time we all act like it. We need Premier John Horgan and his government to take immediate action to protect our environment in order to protect the health of our patients, families and communities" says Dr. Emma Noble, letter co-author. “Our government does not appear to be listening” says Dr Joan Rosenberg, also a co-author to the letter. “I liken it to taking someone’s blood pressure while the house is on fire. The government needs to put out the fire so we can properly care for our patients”. A group of doctors and nurses will be at the Legislature at 11 AM on Tuesday, October 12 to present the letter to Premier John Horgan. The group is requesting a meeting with the government to discuss this urgent concern. The letter, with signatories, is posted at bit.ly/3ApoVCp. Signatories continue to be added daily.
  2. We had a big win, but the fight is not over We all celebrated last week's ruling by BC Supreme Court Justice Thompson, denying the request by Teal Cedar to extend the injunction. It was a big victory for our movement, and a testament to the strength and integrity of our team, both on the frontlines and in court. But - the very next day, Teal Cedar filed a request for an expedited appeal, and requested that the current injunction order remain in place until the appeal is heard. We'll be in court next week to ensure this appeal is denied. In the meantime, trees are still falling, arrests are still happening, and our peaceful battle continues. We have momentum right now; let's keep it up. “The war is not over. The B.C. government has issued lies saying they’ve stopped logging, while we can see trucks going by loaded with the trees we’re trying to protect.” - Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, Sept. 29, 2021 Photos @focus.wandering HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1. Always, first, COME TO CAMP. We're establishing new camps, and need more numbers to hold them down. We're working hard to keep industry at bay, but irreplaceable ancient forests are at risk daily. Meet at Granite Main and we'll direct you from there. 2. JOIN US IN VICTORIA ON MONDAY, October 4, 8:30 am - 6:30 pm for a Sit-in & Speak out For Ancient Forests, Just Transition and Indigenous Sovereignty - Help us mobilize in mass on the doorstep of the colonial centre of power in Victoria. We need to hold the BCNDP government accountable for the daily destruction of some of the last and most carbon-rich, biologically diverse old-growth forest ecosystems on Earth. We'll hold space and hear from people who have been on the frontlines in the struggle at Ada'itsx/Fairy creek to protect ancient forests and support Indigenous sovereignty and land back, centering BIPOC, youth and marginalized narratives and voices. 3. DONATE. Our legal battles continue, and we need funding to keep going. By donating today your funds will directly support: Legal funding for Indigenous land defenders and forest protector allies who were arrested on the frontlines of this campaign. Legal initiatives such as appealing the injunction, preventing an extension of the injunction, and further challenges be revealed in the coming weeks. 4. CALL YOUR MLA: This is a key moment to pressure NDP MLAs to implement the Strategic Review and to stop old-growth logging now. Cabinet is in discussions about areas of deferral in BC’s ancient forests, and we know some NDP members oppose the Premier’s position. Download this letter with talking points.
  3. BC Supreme Court Refuses Teal-Jones’ Application to Extend Injunction Based on Unlawful Behaviour of RCMP Ada’itsx (Fairy Creek, BC), September 28, 2021 – Marking a huge milestone in the fight to protect old-growth forests in BC, today the application to extend the injunction against the forest defenders in Fairy Creek was denied. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson called the protesters “good citizens” and decided the RCMP’s misconduct represented such a threat to the reputation of the Court in the public mind that it outweighed the interests of Teal Cedar in having the injunction extended. Judge Thompson noted that things had changed at Fairy Creek since the original injunction was granted. He drew a sharp contrast between the evidence before Judge Verhoeven who granted the original injunction, and evidence at the hearings held September 14 - 17 in Nanaimo. He noted significant police misconduct including: Stripping protesters’ covid masks before pepper-spraying them Improper constraints on freedom of the press Use of illegally expansive exclusion zones Wearing Thin Blue Line badges contrary to RCMP Headquarters directives Failing to wear identification Unlawfully seizing and destroying personal effects such as vehicles, tents, sleeping bags, food, and even a guitar Using constant police messaging that their actions are undertaken to enforce the Court’s order. Kathleen Code, a spokesperson for Rainforest Flying Squad, said she took heart from the Judge’s clear condemnation of the refusal by the RCMP to wear identification and their continued wearing of the Thin Blue Line badges, especially in light of the presence of many Indigenous people protesting ancient forest logging. She added, “I think it’s significant that he quoted only one protester and that person is Indigenous, and that he called out the RCMP for being wilfully divisive.” In making his decision, Judge Thompson also took into account the behaviour of the protesters, noting that of the countless interactions between police and protesters, “most have been respectful, and nearly all to this point have been non-violent. This is consistent with what I have come to know during many bail applications by even the most militant of the protesters.” He added that, “They are respectful, intelligent, and peaceable by nature. They are good citizens in the important sense that they care intensely about the common good. The videos and other evidence show them to be disciplined and patient adherents to standards of non-violent disobedience.” It’s still unknown how the RCMP will attend to the blockade. The Judge said, “the RCMP will have to reevaluate its ability to continue to conduct enforcement operations.” The Court pointedly declined to factor in the importance of old-growth rainforests in mitigating our climate emergency, in effect reminding politicians of their constitutional responsibility and that this is not the responsibility of the courts. Code noted that while the Judge said he is prohibited from factoring in the need to protect old growth, a powerful case can be made for doing so. “We call on politicians and decision-makers to step up and fulfil their political obligation to protect ancient old-growth forests,” says Code. “We invite all those who recognize the vital importance of our remaining ancient rainforests to join us in protecting these forests now, and for future generations." About the Fairy Creek Blockade This volunteer-driven, grassroots, non-violent direct action movement is committed to protecting the last stands of globally significant ancient temperate rainforest in British Columbia. The Rain-forest Flying Squad, Last Stand for Forests, and other like-minded organizations stand in solidarity with Elder Bill Jones and others of the Pacheedaht Nation in the protection of the ancient forests of their ancestral territory. www.laststandforforests.com
  4. Dr. Suzanne Simard: Forests in the Fairy Creek store more carbon than Amazon (per hectare) During a talk in Victoria on Wednesday, September 22nd, Dr. Suzanne Simard said the forests in the Fairy Creek area store more carbon, per hectare per year, than is stored in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon. The renowned forest ecologist visited Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island earlier this week. Dr. Suzanne Simard near an ancient cedar tree at Fairy Creek (photo by Joshua Wright) "If we save our old-growth forests, it is the easiest way to reduce carbon emissions," she said. Huge carbon reserves have built up in the trees and also, over thousands of years, within the layer of humus or rich soil on the forest floor, Simard explained. This is largely destroyed by clear-cut logging. Near Heli Camp at Fairy Creek, Simard dug down and found the rich soil reached an entire metre in depth. In comparison, the soil layer in a nearby second-growth forest was only 33 cm. And at a third-growth seedling plantation, only 4 cm of soil remained. About 70% of the carbon stored in trees and earth is lost when these forests are logged, Simard said. Dr. Simard is world-renowned for her work in discovering the mycorrhizal networks that allow trees to share nutrients and information with other trees. More than 1,000 people have been arrested in over a year of protests aimed at protecting Fairy Creek and other nearby ancient forests on southern Vancouver Island.
  5. Huge 'Grandfather tree' may be logged today at Ada'itsx/Fairy Creek Elder Bill was threatened with arrest this morning as he and a large group of people gathered to try to protect the ancient, old-growth forest on the slope leading up to Fairy Creek. It is part of his ancestral Pacheedaht territory, an area he has visited for spiritual solace and spent time in regularly, throughout his entire life. This photo shows young visitors to the Fairy Creek blockade in an earlier time, as they enjoyed exploring the old-growth forest. (Parents gave permission for photo publication. Photo by Aaron Yukich) This tree, called the Grandfather Tree, may be logged today. Logging has resumed as the fire risk has decreased with cooler weather. RCMP and Teal Jones seem determined to log the area before Teal Jones' injunction expires on Sept. 26 and they need to apply for an extension. A number of court actions will be heard next week. Yesterday, a woman who was sleeping in her van above River Camp was awoken by police smashing a window. They arrested her and then her van was crushed by an excavator. Two other vehicles were also crushed.
  6. HUNGER STRIKE FOR OLD-GROWTH, AS LOGGING RESUMES Lekwungen Territory, Victoria, BC, September 7, 2021: A 53-year-old psychotherapist and father of two will have gone 21 days without food by Tuesday, September 7. “Lalita”, as he prefers to be known, is fasting in solidarity with the protestors who are trying to prevent clear-cut logging in the Fairy Creek area of Port Renfrew. “I am feeling physically weaker, but my spirit is strong,” the Victoria resident said. “I am nourished by much support from people who come to visit me at the Legislature lawn. Some weep for the trees and the earth, some rage at the government. Some feel inspired to take an action, and ask me, ‘What can I do?’” In solidarity with protestors at Fairy Creek, 'Lalita' has gone without food for the past three weeks. (Photo submitted by Lalita) Lalita said he was inspired by forest protectors at Fairy Creek, “and heartbroken to hear about, and then see with my own eyes, ancient trees being slaughtered for profit. I am a person who follows his heart, and my heart wanted me to take a stand, in the form of a hunger strike.” In order to do that, Lalita has been camping on the Legislature lawn for the past three weeks. His two oversized red chairs are usually easy to spot near the obelisk. At the same time, logging has begun again in the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, as fire risk has diminished with cooler weather. During recent weeks of RCMP enforcement of Teal Jones’ injunction, protestors lost River Camp and Heli Camp on the road that leads up to the Fairy Creek ridge. Logging of those areas may begin as early as Tuesday, or as soon as RCMP are able to gain full access. (As of Monday night, protestors still held two blockaded areas on the road.) Some of the ancient yellow cedars on slopes leading up to Fairy Creek are considered to be up to 2000 years old. Scientists have found evidence of numerous endangered birds and other species, particularly near Heli Camp. BC has no legislation to protect species at risk. Logging will also continue in the 2000 Road area, another corner of the same old-growth forest which surrounds the now-deferred valley of Fairy Creek itself. Cutblocks are as close as 100 metres from the Fairy Creek watershed. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous protestors have worked together to defend these and other remaining old-growth forests in the Port Renfrew area. Although Premier Horgan announced a deferral in June, it affected only the Fairy Creek valley, and a small area in the Central Walbran. Altogether a combined total of just 14 hectares was deferred from logging for 2 years. The Premier also said that more deferrals would be announced “this summer”, however, in the meantime, much of the old-growth forest that lies immediately outside the valley of Fairy Creek can still be logged. Joshua Wright, a Rainforest Flying Squad spokesperson, says 292 hectares of old-growth logging have been approved in Teal Jones’ tenure, mostly on Pacheedaht territory in Tree Farm License 46. “A hundred and thirteen hectares have been clear-cut since RCMP enforcement began,” he added. “But Fairy Creek is a microcosm. Even as our blockades defend around 100 hectares of ancient forest, old growth is being logged to the tune of 150,000 hectares per year, across the province. Meanwhile, we have found endangered and threatened species in every old-growth forest we’ve looked in.” Recent clear-cutting immediately west of the Fairy Creek valley, near 2000 Road, viewed from a helicopter. Fairy Creek is just over the ridge, about 100 metres from the clear-cut. Much more clear-cutting has been approved in these old-growth forests surrounding Fairy Creek. Photo: Shawna Knight At the invitation of Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, hundreds of land defenders have been blocking roads to prevent clear cut-logging that has been approved by the NDP government. Asked what have been the hardest times during his three-week fast, Lalita said, “the worst thing is the silence of our government which obviously does not represent people, doesn't stand for the trees, does nothing to stop police brutality. “I hope that my actions will awaken people to take an active role in the movement to protect Fairy Creek,” said Lalita. “I just want to help protect what’s left of the ancient forests and protect the earth for future generations.” The first blockade began at Fairy Creek more than a year ago. Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones has welcomed all who wish to stand with him to protect the old-growth forests on Pacheedaht ancestral territory, where most of TFL 46 lies. More than 850 people have been arrested since RCMP began enforcing the Teal Jones injunction. The ongoing protests are poised to become the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history, when the number soon surpasses the total arrested during 1993 Clayoquot Sound protests. In solidarity with Indigenous-led actions to halt old growth logging, Lalita plans to camp on the Legislature lawn and continue fasting until the government declares a moratorium on all old-growth logging.
  7. Physician condemns the RCMP behaviour: “It’s kind of a miracle that no one has lost an eye or a life” Statement by Dr. Stephanie von Dehn, M.D.: As a physician, I can see that it could so easily happen that one of the blockaders is killed, any day, based on how violent this brutality is. I’ve seen head injuries. If this was happening in Honduras or Brazil, against Indigenous forest defenders, our press would be all over it, and so would the international press. We don’t want one of our Indigenous forest defenders to be killed just because they’re acting out of moral conviction. These tactics that the police are using are intended to fight crime. And these people are not criminals. They’re citizens that are there non-violently, out of moral conviction, so to attack them and brutally injure them, and potentially kill them, just completely discredits what’s left of respect for the RCMP. And it doesn’t work. Because every time one of these videos gets out, the people show up enraged, and more people come out, and more rallies happen. You cannot defeat this kind of widespread public movement—because there’s widespread public support for a moratorium on old-growth logging, and saving the last 2.7 percent. So these blockaders are doing the job that the government is not doing, to protect these last old-growth forests that the Canadian public wants protected. A 17-year-old in a tripod at Fairy Creek, August 25. The RCMP cut off his shirt, took away his hat, and gave him no helmet or other protection. They lowered him 30 feet to the ground by a rope around his waist—a method that put another blockader in hospital recently. Protestors offered to give officers a harness that could be used, but they refused it. The Canadian public will be even more outraged as they learn about the brutality that’s being used on these people, who are the only ones standing between the logging industry and these forests that need to be protected, because the government is not doing it. This is an issue where people are putting their lives on the line to protect forests that the Canadian public wants protected, and the government has said it wants to protect, and isn’t protecting. And if this was happening in any other country, with this kind of video coming out, it would be all over the headlines, it would be condemned. People would be outraged. Even if this kind of footage came out of Kabul, or Haiti, it would be scandalous. But the fact that it’s being done to nonviolent Canadian citizens, who are there out of moral conviction, to preserve a forest that the Canadian public wants preserved, that’s outrageous. The young man who was walking across the gravel at HQ camp, and four – four! – RCMP officers rushed him. He wasn’t doing anything other than strolling across, and they grabbed him, picked him up and rammed him head-first from about two feet off the ground, hard. He could have had his neck broken. He could have been killed. He could have had a terrible head injury– he did have a head injury, and he did have to get medical attention, and does have injuries. But thank God he’s not dead. He could have been. I’ve also seen the footage of how people with no helmets, no safety gear, and having chainsaws run right behind their heads and necks, through logs, inches from their heads, while they’re screaming. They’re no threat to police, to the public, to the peace. They’re just sitting there in a pile of logs. Police officers are taking chainsaws within inches of their heads and necks. It’s completely unsafe, and it could easily go wrong. And someone could be killed. The fact that ambulances are coming every day to deal with whoever’s been injured – it’s totally outrageous – for peaceful citizens who are doing kind of nothing, other than sitting there. (We have heard about excavators being used in dangerous ways, but often there’s no video because police are illegally forcing media and legal observers to leave or stay sometimes kilometres away – despite a recent detailed court ruling that media and legal observers should be kept only metres away, not kilometres) We’ve heard that excavators have been used to nearly bury people, to the point they can’t breathe, and coming within inches of their unprotected heads. It means a small slip could decapitate or kill somebody, or bury them alive. It’s completely unacceptable. It’s just a terrible tragedy waiting to happen – any hour. And once one of those lives is lost, you can’t get that back. That’s on our federal government, that controls the RCMP. And on the provincial government that’s given these logging permits. And both of them are doing nothing. Nothing. These RCMP are needed right now in the Okanagan for actual public safety, to manage those fire evacuations. They don’t need them at all in Fairy Creek, there’s no logging going on. There’s a terrible drought and they’re not allowed to log. Every one of them should be moved by our Minister for Public Safety to the Okanagan where they’re needed. And leave the poor forest protectors to sit there. They’re not doing any harm to anybody. This is people of conscience protecting the forest. When something like this happens in other countries, we’re outraged. It’s kind of a miracle that no one has lost eye or a life. I see this kind of things – a chainsaw can maim or kill someone, a fall onto their head can kill someone. You don’t have to be a physician to recognize that. These people are so courageous. —Stephanie von Dehn, M.D.
  8. RCMP's level of brutality exceeds both its legal and moral authority say lawyers Lekwungen Territory (Victoria, BC), August 23, 2021: Victoria lawyers whose clients include protesters against old growth logging have issued a statement about recent activity by RCMP enforcing an injunction in Fairy Creek. They are calling on the RCMP to reduce the violence and insisting the RCMP and the NDP government must do better and act in accordance with the higher standard expected of them. Supreme Court Justice Thompson determined that the RCMP were making arbitrary exclusion zones and when this was challenged in court, Judge Thompson deemed the distance of these exclusion zones from their extraction activities to be beyond their authority. Protesters remain at Fairy Creek at the request of Bill Jones, a Pacheedaht elder who asks that protesters remain until all logging in the area has stopped. On Monday the federal NDP called for an independent inquiry into the actions of the RCMP as they enforce the injunction at Fairy Creek. STATEMENT BY LAWYERS PATRICK CANNING AND PHIL DWYER "As officers of the court, we are bound to uphold the rule of law. We recognize that the world is at a crossroads, and that we require bold responses to address issues such as climate change, Indigenous sovereignty, and the overall degradation of our natural world. We are no longer, nor have we been for some time, in a situation where the ‘business as usual’ model is either appropriate or acceptable. A new and dynamic approach is needed, and the justice system must be a part of this change. The RCMP have responded to the protests taking place in the Fairy Creek area, in too many instances, with a level of brutality exceeding both its authority, legal or moral, and beyond the scope of what is required to fulfil operational requirements. The citizens engaged in the Fairy Creek protest, in response to what they and a quickly growing number of others see as an abdication of responsibility by corporations and various levels of governments, are taking the only course of action they feel left open to them. Government and its delegated agencies, such as the RCMP, need to be held to a higher standard. The recent events at Fairy Creek are a stinging indictment of the failure of our current political leadership to recognize and respond to the critical realities facing all of mankind. We challenge all involved to do better. Our actions today define our future.” —Patrick Canning, F.T., LL.B., and Phil Dwyer, C.M., J.D., FRCMT
  9. RCMP MASS PEPPER SPRAY— ONE PROTESTOR SPRAYED INSIDE MOUTH AND GENITALS (Video link below) August 21, 2021, 14:00, Duncan, BC: Medics and ambulances were called to Fairy Creek this morning as a mass group of approximately 50nonviolent Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS) forest defenders and their allies were pepper sprayed and physically assaulted by RCMP including grabbing a person by their crotch. “RCMP have a duty to enforce the injunction, but they're systematically going beyond and are trying to break the movement, which isn't their job,” says Noah Ross, a lawyer for the Rainforest Flying Squad “In Canada, police don’t have a right to abuse, torture and injure people, even if that's what they feel is needed to break a social movement.” One traumatized forest defender recounts, “The line was being pushed. I was trying to protect an Indigenous femme. The cops started pepper spraying everyone. Then they grabbed me, held open my mouth and sprayed pepper spray into my mouth and eyes for one minute. Then they punched me hard. Then they spread my legs and sprayed pepper spray into my genital area.” Not even the Supreme Court Justice Thompson’s ruling about unlawful exclusion zones being enforced seems to have an effect on the behaviour of RCMP. They’ve continued to ignore the judge’s ruling about what is allowable under the law. Reports about RCMP behaviour include sexual assault, torture, racism and injury. A recent response to the injunction includes statements by multiple victims of RCMP brutality. The Trudeau Liberals just announced a campaign promise of $50 million dollars to ensure permanent protection of old growth forests in BC. “If they act immediately they can permanently protect these ancient forests and end this violence against protesters,” said RFS spokesperson, Kathleen Code, “If they wait even a few more days -- after the trees are logged, it is all for nothing. If the ancient forests remain, defenders will have no more need to defend these pristine, unlogged ancient forests." Forest defenders remain at Fairy Creek at his request of Elder Bill Jones to call for an end to this war against ancient forests. 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: laststandforforests.com. Link to videos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CS2Cy-wFqt2/?utm_medium=share_sheet
  10. It just gets worse: Two Indigenous Youth Tortured by RCMP at Fairy Creek Ada’itsx (Fairy Creek) Aug 17, 6:30 p.m.: There are currently two Indigenous femme youth at Fairy Creek locked into a complex contraption. Known at camp as Frankie and Daddy Long Legs, the RCMP are currently attempting extraction in what is being called by frontline forest defenders as the most dangerous, life threatening extraction to date. The youth have been inside a trench since 8 a.m. this morning each with their arms locked in—one pointing down and the other pointed upward from the trench with a log between them. They have been partially buried now as RCMP place gravel on them in an effort to force them to release. Officers are pulling and twisting ankles and wrists very hard almost to the point of breaking due to tension. RCMP removed shade structures and Daddy Long Legs shoes during the excavators attempted removal of them under the log that was utilized in the block. The excavator dropped the log slightly keeping the arrestees stuck.

All media and legal have observers have been denied access including the police liaison leaving no one other than the RCMP inside this area. As of 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, the two youth remained partially buried. RCMP continue to force their release by pouring gravel on them. Both have yelled that they are having trouble breathing with the mounting pressure on their bodies. Luke Wallace, a frontline spokesperson says, “I’m so worried for their safety. People need to call Premier Horgan’s office and demand that he call off this military unit to stop this blatant assault before someone loses their life. Right now, I’m really scared for them.”
  11. ADA’ITSX (FAIRY CREEK) DEFENDER SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AND PEPPER SPRAYED BY RCMP Ada'itsx/Fairy Creek: In the early hours of Friday Aug 13, an RCMP officer sexually assaulted and pepper sprayed a young person who was linking arms with other forest defenders of Ada’itsx, also known as Fairy Creek. This arm-linking as a group is what is called a “blob." It makes it more difficult to arrest individuals, and allows the group to regain ground recently lost to the RCMP. The aim is to stop the continued road building and logging of the contiguous ancient old growth forests around the deferred areas of Fairy Creek. The person recounts the incident when the officer moved towards them: “He thought it was appropriate to try to twist my nipple to get me to release from the blob, and then he proceeded to grab my boob and use his elbow to choke me,” says a Fairy Creek land defender known as “Fox”, who uses a pseudonym for their safety. “I thought that was the end of it when I got away from him, but he then pulled out his pepper spray, sprayed me straight in the eye, sprayed everyone else around me, sprayed me maybe for 5 seconds straight just in my hair so it would drip down my face and the whole time up I was totally blind and unable to see where I was going.” The RCMP have deployed several units against forest defenders including the Emergency Response Team (ERT), the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG), and the Division Liaision Team (DLT). Formed in 2017, the C-IRG assists in issues of disorder in the energy industry, national security and crime. The ERT is a group of RCMP members who have the authority to deploy specialized weapons, equipment, and tactics. Land defenders in Wet’suwet’en territories faced these units two years ago when the C-IRG and ERT raid included the use of assault rifles. Back in Fairy Creek, RCMP brutality continues to escalate. Injuries and incidents are reported daily by defenders. To date no legal claims have been made by RCMP that the forest defenders have perpetuated violence against the RCMP or Teal-Jones employees, or damaged equipment. Numerous complaints have been received at Fairy Creek about RCMP behaviours including excessive and unnecessary force, indignity, racism, and brutality. One arrestee who needed to urinate endured the humiliation of being videotaped while doing so. Another reported traumatic incident included a female officer exposing a woman’s pelvic area in front of male officers. “The RCMP commits to uphold its own Code of Conduct which specifies that officers must act in a ‘courteous, respectful and honourable manner’ and uphold the rule of law.” says Noah Ross, lawyer working with the Rainforest Flying Squad. “The reports I have received of sexualized violence, brutality and humiliation by RCMP officers are completely unacceptable in nonviolent conflict.” Forest defenders say they will remain and face RCMP in the greater Fairy Creek area at the request of Elder Bill Jones of the Pacheedaht Nation due to continued felling of trees and road building in contiguous forest areas not deferred by the BC government. 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 and Last Stand for Forests work with other like-minded organizations, and stand in solidarity with Elder Bill Jones of the Pacheedaht Nation. More information: laststandforforests.com. Link to video: https://bit.ly/3spwlTK
  12. 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!
  13. 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.”
  14. July 22, 2021 Dear RCMP: Remember the letter the Rainforest Flying Squad sent you back in mid-May just as the RCMP enforcement at our camps began? Remember how we asked you to mind the lessons of your past, at both Wet’suwet’en and TMX, and how we pledged ourselves to uphold our commitment to non-violence? How we asked you not to target Indigenous members and to respect our right to peaceful protest? We kept our promise. You didn’t. Here we are now into our third month of enforcement still face to face with your paramilitary CIRG unit and the list of your infractions is long. In an astoundingly short period of time, you have amassed quite the rap sheet that includes, but is not limited to: Deliberate targeting of Indigenous youth in exclusion zones and subjecting them to rough treatment and intimidation during arrests. The use of exclusion zones despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these zones are illegal. The use of personal searches despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these practices are illegal. The use of access checkpoints despite the RCMP Commissioner’s direction that these practices are illegal. Denial of media access to enforcement zones. Refusal to allow RFS legal observers and police liaisons to do their jobs. Catch and release programs designed to intimidate people for such offences as refusing to abide by your imaginary exclusion zones. The use of threats of rubber bullets, tear gas and arrest to intimidate Indigenous and non-Indigenous defenders. Dangerous use of excavators while extracting human beings from sleeping dragons, causing one head injury and putting people’s lives at extreme risk. Refusal to provide safety helmets to defenders during these dangerous extraction practices. Dangerous use of grinders, cutting a woman’s finger. Illegal towing of private citizens’ vehicles on public roads far from the camps. Illegal practices of giving personal vehicles to Teal Jones to be held for unreasonable towing fees, along with personal items. Illegal stoppage of buses and legitimate tour operators. Deliberate failure to heed the enforcement order of Justice Verhoeven that allows public protest in the enforcement area. Confiscation of donations meant for camp defenders. And perhaps one of the worst offences: dragging a man by a bandana around his neck until he lost consciousness and kicking him in the head – this after the BC Supreme Court rendered the decision about your illegal actions. Surely, inflicting harm or death on peaceful protesters is against the law and your ethics. 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. We have noted the presence of officers previously engaged in harmful practices. We remind you that we are Canadian citizens, entitled to conduct peaceful acts of civil disobedience and bound by a Code of Conduct we take to heart and employ every day to protect our forests. On July 20, 2021, the BC Supreme Court confirmed the illegality of some of your actions, stating that the public has the right to access the Fairy Creek area, and that your geographically extensive exclusion zones and checkpoints are not justified. Also on this day, the BC Supreme Court ruled you cannot deny media the right to access the enforcement areas. To deny the media is to deny their ability to bear witness and document events in an impartial manner, one of the very foundational rights of our democracy. And just so we are perfectly clear, we will continue our peaceful protests as citizens, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, of this country. In this time of increasing government and corporate partnerships that fail the public interest, we, as Canadian citizens, have a duty and a right to defend our forests. We remind you that we are standing for the old-growth forests on your behalf as well as that of your children. We ask you to think about how you wish to be remembered in the coming years. Regards, The Rainforest Flying Squad
  15. 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. @arvinoutside 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.
×
×
  • Create New...