Fairy Creek blockades expected to continue following court injunction in favour of logging company on Vancouver Island
On April 1, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Frits Verhoeven granted logging company Teal-Jones an injunction that prohibits roadblocks at various entry points to the Fairy Creek old-growth rainforest on southern Vancouver Island.
CBC reports: “[Forest defenders] have erected eight blockades at various sites since August 2020 to stop the company from building a road into the watershed – the location of numerous old-growth yellow cedars – and to prohibit logging in the area.”
The blockades are located approximately 110 kilometres north-west of the province’s capital city of Victoria.
The National Observer reports: “In its application, Teal-Jones asked the court to prohibit the blockades until at least Sept. 4 and grant RCMP the right to remove protesters violating the order.” That request for police enforcement was granted by Judge Verhoeven.
Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee says: “If the legal system was based on justice, there wouldn’t be an injunction and the blockades wouldn’t be there in the first place.”
Sierra Club BC campaigner Jens Wieting comments: “The confrontation between logging company Teal-Jones and forest defenders in court is the result of the ongoing failure of the provincial government to follow through on their promise and deliver solutions to protect globally rare and endangered old-growth forest like the spectacularly intact Fairy Creek rainforest in Pacheedaht territory.”
And blockade supporter Will O’Connell says: “If anyone thinks this movement will be quelled by force, they have another thing coming.”
The Times Colonist also reports: “[Bobby Arbess of the Rainforest Flying Squad] said he expects to see up to 150 people at the blockade after Easter weekend.”
Significantly, Ha-Shilth-Sa has reported: “Pacheedaht First Nation has not officially commented on the dispute.”
That article adds: “But Roxy Jones said she decided she could no longer stay silent. The Pacheedaht councillor and health care director chose to exercise her right to speak independently as a Pacheedaht citizen. [And] Bill Jones, a Pacheedaht elder, has been an outspoken ally of the blockades from the start.”
Jones says: “Join us here in our struggle to save what is left of old growth.”