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Leslie Campbell

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Posts posted by Leslie Campbell

  1. Outraged by the tactics and behavior of the RCMP at Fairy Creek, Ray Zimmerman, is manning a sign which quotes the court decision  in front of the entrance to the RCMP Victoria building (2881 Nanaimo St). His intention is to inform the public and remind the RCMP of the court decision. He will be there every work day possible between noon and 1PM until the injunction against the old growth defenders is lifted. Company will be welcomed.—Pete Rockwell, photo by Pete Rockwell too.

    -2September 09, 2021 copy.jpg

  2. 1156950292_arrestaug20copy2.thumb.jpg.d03c9b6ad865c96096c4d22da51a9d69.jpg

    This photo, supplied by Rainforest Flying Squad, shows RCMP carrying a protestor in an unnecessarily painful position. Photo credit: @arvinoutside

    Rainforest Flying Squad reports "Violent arrests have escalated in the past two weeks, say forest protectors at Fairy Creek, on unceded Pacheedaht ancestral territory. They have included sexual assaults, and recklessly taking down a double tripod causing it to collapse, dropping two young protestors 15 feet to the ground. Protestors say RCMP also shoveled gravel on top of two women in a trench blockade, and are twisting thumbs, wrists, legs or arms to near dislocation or breaking point. 
    "RCMP continue to ignore the court's ruling on access for media, legal observers and protestors. 
    "With the use of these extreme tactics against people practicing nonviolent civil disobedience, protestors fear losing River Camp today. 
    "RCMP and the BC government are criminalizing forest protectors. Our group has been denigrated as a bunch of hippies or unemployed people. Far from it. Many of the people trying to protect these precious old-growth forests and their ecosystems come during their time off, or have taken leave: An airline pilot spent his holidays here. There are quite a few doctors and many nurses, as well as scientists, teachers, professors, landscapers, retired folks, disabled folks, youth fighting for a better climate future, and Indigenous people fighting for choices about their ancestral territory.
    "We understand the 'green guys' we often see now at the blockades may be from the RCMP's Emergency Response team.
    "The Emergency Response Team deals with situations where extreme danger/firearms are above the ability of detachments or other policing partners. Team members are highly trained and are specialized experts in weapons and a variety of tactics." 
    "But what is the danger? What is the emergency? Teal Jones' desperate need to make more money? Or is it that RCMP are trying to clean protestors out before the injunction expires -- Sept. 26th at midnight. Teal Jones has already applied to extend the injunction, and Rainforest Flying Squad lawyers are appealing an extension. The case will be heard the week of Sept 13th during a two-day hearing.
    "In protest against RCMP's extreme violence and unlawful exclusion zones, a province-wide protest, called RCMP Stand Down, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday in towns that so far include: Burnaby, Victoria, Sooke, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Courtenay, Nelson, Sechelt and Vernon."
    Total arrests will top 700 by the end of the day today.


  3. 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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This event will be Livestreamed by Jason Guille of Stream of Consciousness:


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

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


  6. RCMP update:

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

    On Thursday, June 3, the RCMP informed media:

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

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

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

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


  7. Action for—but off-site—Fairy Creek:

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

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

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

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

  8. The Community Services/Media Coordinator with the Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC) out of Surrey informed media at 7:49 am today that “today’s planned enforcement of the BC Supreme Court’s injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed will take place in the Port Renfrew area. I ask that you meet the media liaisons in the mill’s gravel pull out/parking area approximately 1 km past Port Renfrew on Pacific Marine Road to rendezvous for escort.  All interested media should meet at 9:30 a.m.” There media need to sign in with ID prior to being accompanied to a designated media area.” Media are also warned things could change—as they did recently when FOCUS photographer Dawna Mueller showed up as directed, but the RCMP did not—they had gone to Caycuse about 2 hours away.

    Media are understandably complaining about the lack of access. Even when at the site of arrests, they have been “corralled” far down the road from where arrests take place, making it impossible to document the behaviour of both protestors and police. 

    A coalition of media have filed a court application to limit the powers of police when issuing injunctions.


  9. Rainforest Flying Squad sent out these updates for May 27, 2021:

    Fairy Creek, Pacheedaht Territory:

    RCMP entered the high side of Fairy Creek today, and arrests are happening right now at Waterfall Camp and for the past six hours or more. 

    Roads could be built into the Fairy Creek headwaters within a few short days, and logging will go very quickly...

    Waterfall Camp was the first blockade the Rainforest Flying Squad established last year on August 10th, in order to block planned road-building over the ridge and into the pristine Fairy Creek watershed. We are holding Elder Bill Jones in our hearts as the world watches Fairy Creek. 

    Elder Bill has spent time throughout his whole life in this area, which he regards as sacred. We cannot imagine how painful this must be for him, and other Pacheedaht band members who do not agree with logging this area.

    Fairy Creek watershed is the last unlogged watershed in the San Juan River system. Trees growing on Vancouver Island are among the biggest in the world.

    Some nearby roads have been de-activated which affects people's ability to travel. Bugaboo is not passable at this time, deactivated about 4 km up from Gordon River Road.

    We have also heard that industry is digging up the road, putting in big trenches, blocking cars in and closing access.

    Caycuse, Ditidaht Territory:

    Photos below of one of the tree-sits, in which two people were staying. And the ongoing destruction now happening in the now-undefended forest at Caycuse. (The photographer prefers to remain anonymous.)




  10. Today the Rainforest Flying Squad reported that there are still two tree-sitters at Caycuse. Two were extracted today using helicopters. (“We really wonder how much the government is spending on helicopters alone, as we've been seeing a lot of them…”)

    The RFS also reports that 5 people were arrested at 2000 Road today.

    55 people attended a weekly vigil for old-growth forests in downtown Victoria today.

    Their Fairy Creek Blockade Instagram account was reinstated.

  11. book-cover-women-talking-by-miriam-toews.jpg.jpg.f1d3b6096edf2dda13c6fae0e5958cdf.jpg


    Women Talking (Vintage Canada, 2019) is a mesmerizing, fast-moving, powerful little book. Yet it’s almost entirely based on conversation—eight women talking—in a barn’s hayloft, over the course of two clandestine meetings. Like many women’s conversations, this one meanders, often going off on tangents, but it all helps them understand their dilemma and what to do about it.

    That dilemma is whether to stay in or leave the small, ultra-conservative Mennonite settlement in Bolivia that they’ve lived in all their lives. Will they acquiesce in their complete domination by men who have failed to protect them and who want them to forgive eight men who have been arrested for raping many women in the colony?

    This aspect of the story is based on real events that occurred in the remote “Manitoba/Molotschna” colony in Bolivia from 2005 to 2009: eight men were arrested after over 100 women and their daughters (ages ranged from 3 to 65) were raped in a drug-induced sleep. Though the drug wiped out most of their memories of the events, the women knew something had happened. Some thought it was demons. Some were too afraid or ashamed to talk about it; those who did were initially dismissed as imagining things.

    Women Talking is an act of wild female imagination—the very thing the real women who complained of the rapes were initially accused of.

    For the women to leave Molotschna would be a truly revolutionary and courageous act. They would have to do it almost immediately, while most of the colony’s men are in the city trying to arrange bail for the arrestees. They would have to take their children, animals, wagons (no cars or electricity in Molotschna) and supplies. They have no map and cannot read; they cannot speak Spanish (or English). Yet a decision must be made. They talk through the realities of their position, each woman contributing her insights, logic, anger, and love for each other and their children.

    At first, I wondered if I’d be able to keep the eight women straight. But soon each came to life as individuals. Ona, the free spirit carrying the child of her rapist; Agata, her mom, who suffers from edema and impatiently reigns in tangential discussions; righteous Salome who chafes at authority at the best of times and whose anger is “Vesuvius” because her three-year-old daughter has been raped; chain-smoking, clear-thinking Mejal; Mariche whose husband beats her yet is still very wary of leaving; her mom Greta who is determined to take her two beloved old mares Cheryl and Ruth on the journey; and two teenage girls, who are excited by the chance of an adventure, resourceful, risk-taking, and inspired, for the most part, by their older sisters (though they can’t help rolling their eyes—or giggling—at certain points in the meetings).

    The women’s conversation is narrated by school teacher August Epp, the one man they trust right now. Epp left the colony at age 12 (his parents were banned) and returned as an adult trying to make sense of himself. The women have asked him to record their conversation, but not to interfere or interrupt. He is mostly able to do so, though adds helpful observations and background in his “minutes”—and commits his own acts of revolution by assisting them in more concrete ways over the two days of decision-making (for instance, he steals the colony’s safe to help them finance their sojourn).

    Despite the violence and betrayal the women have experienced, and the rage, fear and grief they feel, the story bursts with tenderness and humour—indeed sometimes gales of laughter at absurdities in their lives.

    Canadian author Miriam Toews is a master story-teller. I’ve read most of her other books and look forward to more. She is particularly adept at capturing women’s complicated lives and their journeys to liberation. Women Talking was a Governor General Award finalist.


  12. There will be a virtual celebration of John Gould’s The End of Me this Sunday, May 24.

    THIS ZOOM LINK will take you to the launch of John Gould’s The End of Me: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 2 p.m. Pacific / 5 p.m. Eastern.
    THIS FACEBOOK LINK will take you to the event page, where, if you like, you can let us know if you’ll be able to join us.
    John will be joined by Kelsey Attard of Freehand Books, and by fellow authors Sara Cassidy and Julie Paul, who’ll pepper him with questions from the audience (via Zoom chat) and with questions of their own.
  13. 763749275_ResistanceWomen.jpg.9716c0c6bb5731b99f30c177e4087ea4.jpg


    Resistance Women (2019, William Morrow) by Jennifer Chiaverini is set in Germany between 1929 and 1946. The three main characters, all friends, are women who work in various ways to thwart the rise of Nazism and Hitler’s horrific policies. One (non-fictional) character, Mildred Harnack, is an American professor, married to a German who works in the government’s economic ministry; together they try to get information out through the American embassy, and later other means. A German woman, again non-fictional, Greta Kuckhoff, works for a time translating Mein Kampf into English, convinced the unabridged edition will open the eyes of the British and others. (The Nazis realize its publication would be explosive and round up all copies and notes, though one is smuggled out.) A third character, a young Jewish doctoral student goes from being a star student, through expulsion to ghettoization and narrow escape for the crime of being Jewish.

    I have learned a lot of history reading this book, and some of its warning bells ring loudly when I hear how certain leaders like Trump in the US and Duterte in the Philippines have become popular and are allowed, one step at a time, to pervert justice so thoroughly it seems breathtaking in retrospect. In the earlier 1930s, the resistance women kept thinking “it can’t get much worse”—but it always did, especially for the Jews. Eventually they realized that Hitler and his cronies will stop at nothing and can never be trusted or believed. The women took great risks to let the rest of the world (which for a long time seems to be idly standing by, ignoring reality) know what was going on and to help Jews escape the genocide. Along the way, we watch these brave women cope not just with fascism, but fall in love, attend university, dream of careers, have babies and work as teachers, writers, editors, and translators. All against an ominous backdrop and facing personal hardships and growing fears for themselves and their loved ones.

    The fact that the characters are based in reality makes it that much more fascinating. An afterword by Chiaverini fills us in on what happened to Kuckhoff who survived, along with some of the other less central characters.

    I love historical fiction and this one has introduced me to a writer who has no less than a dozen such books to her credit. I’d love to hear from others who’ve read this book and what they thought about it.

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