Home Canada Chainsaws, tree-sits, and tense arrests at Fairy Creek blockades

Chainsaws, tree-sits, and tense arrests at Fairy Creek blockades

Chainsaws, tree-sits, and tense arrests at Fairy Creek blockades

By Rochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative ReporterNational Observer

Fri., Would possibly 21, 20215 min. read

Early Newspaper

Tensions are escalating at aged-negate blockades on Vancouver Island as chainsaws reportedly started up in the Caycuse location Friday and a conflict between protesters and police the day earlier than became as soon as posted to social media.

Reports are moreover rising that RCMP are making arrests at a brand original blockade closer to the Fairy Creek watershed, the Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS) coalition acknowledged Friday.

In violation of a court injunction, RFS activists personal established rather a lot of blockades within logging company Teal-Jones’s tree farm licence (TFL) 46 in the Port Renfrew location. As of Thursday night, RCMP reported that they had made 21 arrests this week.

On Friday morning, a logging crew arrived in the dwelling near the Caycuse blockade camp, the set many of the arrests had been, and began felling dangerously shut to rather a lot of activists tree-sitting in the prick-block, RFS acknowledged in an e-mail.

“Despite being very mindful there is at least one tree-sitter very excessive up in a tree at Caycuse, RCMP personal allowed Teal-Jones aid into the dwelling, and they’ve started felling bushes,” RFS wrote.

“We are very serious about (the tree-sitter’s) safety.”

Officers are inspecting how to extract the tree-sitters in the dwelling the set the logging is taking state, RFS acknowledged, adding WorkSafe BC has moreover been contacted about the dangers logging poses to activists.

One RFS tree-sitter, Jessica Ostroff, has been stay-streaming on Instagram from her perch in a extensive cedar in a Caycuse prick-block.

Caycuse blockade tree-sitter Jessica Ostroff is stay-streaming from her perch in an aged-negate cedar

Logging narrate in the prick-block proper thru the tree-sitters, about 12 kilometres from the Caycuse camp, stopped absolute top after 10 a.m. Friday when WorkSafe inspectors and RCMP officers arrived on scene, Ostroff told the National Observer.

RCMP personal moreover state up a brand original roadblock on Braden Boulevard outside of Port Renfrew, which is closer to the Fairy Creek watershed, and arrested at least three activists at a brand original blockade that has shunned wooded enviornment crews from working absolute top outside the pristine watershed for several days, RFS acknowledged.

The RCMP were unable to substantiate what number of of us had been arrested earlier than the National Observer’s publishing closing date.

A video on social media moreover emerged displaying RCMP arrests at the Caycuse blockade that alive to significantly extra power than these made earlier in the week.

Warning: The next video depicts some violence that would possibly trigger some viewers

Fb video of arrests posted by Rainforest Flying Squad

Kati George-Jim, RFS spokesperson and a member of the Pacheedaht First Nation, became as soon as one of the most of us arrested in the video.

A great number of police vehicles arrived at the Caycuse blockade absolute top after 8 a.m., George-Jim, most frequently is named xʷ is xʷ čaa, told the National Observer.

While some activists on scene were peacefully protesting and breaking the injunction, fastened to logs or buildings, others, including herself, were there as absolute top observers or freelance media, she acknowledged.

The predominant two arrests spirited herself and any other activist were namely violent, she acknowledged.

“They (RCMP) went after a single person who became as soon as strolling on the bridge, who became as soon as not obstructing anything and not breaking the injunction,” George-Jim acknowledged.

“They chased after him, tackled him, and then I walked over to scream that’s illegal, and then they grabbed me.”

The RCMP execute not personal the coolest jurisdiction to set an exclusion zone and arrest of us who are not actively violating the injunction by prohibiting forestry crews from working, George-Jim acknowledged.

She has a responsibility to be in the Caycuse to witness and document aid to her family and other First Nations who are the title-holders of the land and resources in quiz, George-Jim acknowledged.

“Here isn’t very an isolated incident,” she acknowledged.

“Violence against the land is indubitably connected to the violence against Indigenous of us. So, except each and every of these items quit, we obtained’t be in a set of abode to personal a future that we’re all watching for.”

In full, seven of us were arrested Thursday, with six facing charges of breaching the injunction, RCMP acknowledged.

Additionally, three charges of obstruction, two charges of possession of stolen property, and one cost of assault of a police officer were being urged against some arrestees.



The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) outlined concerns about the RCMP containment home and the arrests internal the zone in the Caycuse location in a statement Friday.

Police execute not personal the coolest and arbitrary discretion to dam contributors of the public, including absolute top observers and the media, from having access to the dwelling, the BCCLA acknowledged.

“The BCCLA is deeply alarmed by the RCMP exclusion zone near the Fairy Creek blockades on unceded Ditidaht territory,” acknowledged Veronica Martisius, BCCLA staff counsel, who added the injunction does not restrict motion in the dwelling or peaceful scream.

“The RCMP, by their actions, are displaying blatant overlook for Indigenous rights and the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms,” she acknowledged.

“This situation is alarmingly paying homage to what occurred in Wet’suwet’en territories last year,” Martisius added.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Manseau acknowledged the police checkpoints and non eternal retain an eye fixed on home are in state to fabricate certain safety in the remote home — each and every for officers and contributors of the public.

As to the arrests, a formal criticism has been filed with the Station of enterprise of the Police Complaint Commissioner, Manseau acknowledged.

However Manseau wasn’t in a set of abode to create specifics on the criticism or who made it since the evaluate is in progress, he acknowledged.

Most frequently, officers attempting to set in power the injunction at a blockade don’t personal any immediate formulation of confirming the identification or role of the of us on scene, he acknowledged, adding such situations are fluid and dynamic.

“We simplest employ a level of power that’s needed to fabricate certain these situations. We don’t desire any individual injured, but they were warned,” Manseau acknowledged.

And officers can’t know the intentions of of us at the scene, he acknowledged.

“They’d scream they are absolute top observers or media, and some are, but we absolute top don’t know that then and of us are unpredictable.”

Which capacity, varied of us would possibly neatly be arrested internal the containment zone, but not all arrests necessarily lead to charges, he acknowledged.

“It incredible capacity that any individual internal that zone, whether or not they’re blocking off logging vans or not, is arrestable,” Manseau acknowledged.

“That doesn’t indicate that they’re going to be charged, or that they’re going to be convicted.”

“We’re absolute top attempting to quit offences (against the injunction) that are occurring.”

Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

Chainsaws, tree-sits, and tense arrests at Fairy Creek blockades