Nonviolence International - Canada Supports Forest Defenders’ Blockade

An Update from NVI Canada’s Director: 

Located off of Canada’s Pacific Coast, Vancouver Island is home to a selection of the dwindling old-growth forests in the northern hemisphere. These untouched forest ecosystems have been under exploitation since the arrival of non-First Nations and as a consequence, few remain. Activists have now blockaded for more than 320 days Protecting Vancouver Island's Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Pacheedaht and Dididaht Territories.

In spite of the courageous work of our activists, there have been more than 222 arrests in the past 28 days of police action by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

One week ago, First Nations, who hold a traditional title to the area, called for a deferral of logging in key areas in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran. 

Despite this announcement, large-scale logging could still occur in old-growth forest directly adjacent to Fairy Creek and in parts of the Central Walbran not included in the deferral. Therefore, the forest defenders and blockade remain in place as police action against our nonviolent protections continue.  

Logging truck loaded with massive old growth.

Above Photo credit: Logging truck photographed on the road in central Vancouver Island on 25 May 2021 by Lorna Beecroft.

For more on the log read: The Mystery Behind a Photo of a Logged Old-Growth Tree

Forest defenders are clustered under the banner of the Rainforest Flying Squad and made up of affinity groups and individuals banding together to maintain a blockade to halt further cutting of the last remaining old-growth forests. In turn, they have been supported by thousands of other concerned British Columbian citizens who have brought out material support, contributed financially, or organized sympathetic demonstrations in other parts of the province.

They also receive support from many provincial and national civil society organizations such as Nonviolence International Canada, which has offered support in the training of legal observers that serve as witnesses to the mass arrests as well as on the ground training in de-escalation techniques for tense encounters between protestors and loggers.

Protestor being lifted by a crane.

Above photo credit: Blockader removed / Rainforest Flying Squad

To learn more about NVI Canada click here. 

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