Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Two years after Fairy Creek blockades began, old-growth battle continues

A judge will decide whether to allow a collective lawsuit asking for charges to be dropped against blockaders next week

By Zoë Ducklow
August 10, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Two years after Fairy Creek blockades began, old-growth battle continues

A judge will decide whether to allow a collective lawsuit asking for charges to be dropped against blockaders next week

By Zoë Ducklow
Aug 10, 2022
Raven Brascoupe was arrested at Fairy Creek. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily
Raven Brascoupe was arrested at Fairy Creek. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Two years after Fairy Creek blockades began, old-growth battle continues

A judge will decide whether to allow a collective lawsuit asking for charges to be dropped against blockaders next week

By Zoë Ducklow
August 10, 2022
Get the news and events in Victoria, in your inbox every morning.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Two years after Fairy Creek blockades began, old-growth battle continues
Raven Brascoupe was arrested at Fairy Creek. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Two years ago on August 10, a group of people who were concerned about plans to log the old forests around the Fairy Creek Watershed set up a blockade on one logging road. They had a tent, an orange cone, and a handful of people. Word spread and people across the province came to support the blockades, galvanized by a province-wide campaign to stop old-growth logging.

Eventually Teal Jones, the logging company with a licence to log the area, got a court-ordered injunction prohibiting anyone from blocking access to logging crews. The RCMP began arresting protestors, dismantling camps, and established a broad exclusion zone around the area to control access.

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Protestors were not deterred. They hiked through the night to evade detection, some carrying bags of concrete, power tools, and food supplies. They developed sophisticated hard blocks they called sleeping dragons, where a person locked themselves in place to a tree, a car, or a freshly poured concrete barrier. It took RCMP hours to remove each person. Delay was the whole strategy at that time: Every day police spent extracting protesters was a day logging couldn’t happen.

The RCMP began enforcing the injunction on May 18, 2021 and have since made 1193 arrests. Fairy Creek is by far the largest collective act of civil disobedience in Canada’s history.

Before that, the original War in the Woods at Clayoquot Sound in the 1990s had been the country’s largest, with about 700 arrests.

Photo: Michael John Lo / Capital Daily

But last winter things lulled when police dismantled the last of the established camps. Some people maintained a presence over the winter, and managed to establish Sassin camp outside of Teal Jones’s licence area. That camp was dismantled by police on June 29 at the request of the Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht, and Pacheedaht First Nations elected leadership.

“The movement may be on a bit of a lull, but that lull won’t last,” Joshua Wright told Capital Daily on Tuesday. Wright, a teenager from Washington state, has been a coordinator with the protest movement from the beginning. He was one of the first people who raised the alarm when he noticed a new logging road on satellite images that was being built into the emerald green expanse near Fairy Creek.

Now Teal Jones is continuing to build logging roads to access areas they have a licence to log.

Two RCMP officers blocking the road on the first day of the injunction, May 23, 2021. The officers did not let media cross into the enforcement area; now the judge has ruled that conduct, among other factors, has harmed the reputation of the court. Photo: Jimmy Thomson / Capital Daily

Of the 1,193 arrests, 121 people have filed a collective legal claim asking for their charges to be dropped because of alleged RCMP misconduct.

Lawyer Noah Ross said he plans to argue that the RCMP misconduct was extensive enough that it “constitutes abuse of process that violated [the applicants] rights. It wouldn’t be appropriate to proceed with the prosecution against them given that misconduct.”

He and co-counsel Karen Mirsky filed a Notice of Application in the Supreme Court, with a list of incidents of alleged misconduct. The list includes assault, sexual assault, destruction of belongings, pain compliance, denial of necessities of life, and more.

Crown Counsel is opposed to the collective action, and wants each case to be heard individually. Next week a hearing is scheduled where the judge will decide whether to allow the collective lawsuit.

Article Author's Profile Picture
Zoë Ducklow
Reporter, The Westshore

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Related News

Inner Harbour terminal proposal has backing of local tourism, business associations
Stay connected to your city with the Capital Daily newsletter.
By filling out the form above, you agree to receive emails from Capital Daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.