Dozens of demonstrators arrested at Fairy Creek


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) — Mounties arrested 71 protesters Fairy Creek over the span of five hours Thursday, with all but 13 demonstrators released without charges.

Those 13 are awaiting charges for breaching previous court orders to stay away from the site. The others were driven off the premises by RCMP.

The demonstrators on Vancouver Island have been at the site for months in protest of logging of old-growth forests.

Mounties have arrested 962 people since the demonstrations began last year, exceeding the 858 arrests during the so-called “war of the woods” in Clayquot Sound in 1993. This number of arrests makes the Fairy Creek demonstration the largest act of civil disobedience connected to old-growth logging in the province.

Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director at, was arrested nearly 30 years ago in Clayoquot Sound after spending months living in a clear-cut and coordinating blockades. They said it’s unconscionable that people are still being arrested en masse for the same reasons.

“Premier Horgan and the B.C. NDP must honor their promises and immediately stop logging these rare, at-risk old-growth forests before more people are hurt trying to protect them,” they said.

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The arrests were made after the group locked arms and refused to leave the logging road they were blocking.

“My grandfather said we have to keep the old growth standing,” said Elder Bill Jones. “I’m there, and my guests too are there to be stewards and wardens, to protect the area, to protect our Great Mother.”

Logging activities in Fairy Creek were recently deferred for a period of at least two years, at the request of the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

However, Premier John Horgan said in June that the deferral does not mean all forestry in the area will stop.

“All three Nations have logging interests — second growth — that they’ll continue to harvest, but the central Walbran and Fairy Creek, those deferrals have been requested by the title holders and we’ve deferred old-growth logging in those territories,” he said.

Protesters claim one of the trees at risk of being cut down is Grandfather Tree, an ancient giant sheltering an entire block. However, Teal Jones, the company holding licenses allowing it to log in the Fairy Creek Watershed, refutes this statement, saying that tree is in a protected area and would “never be cut (nor will the surrounding forest, as it’s in the same protected area.)” B.C.’s laws also state trees that are “specified” cannot be cut, damaged, or destroyed.

According to the B.C. government, a specified tree is one that is a “standing tree of a specific species with a certain diameter at breast height (DBH) and in some cases located in a defined area of the Province. There are eleven species identified in the regulation and a tree must meet or exceed the prescribed DBH to be recognized as a specified tree.”

“Do you see the beauty that surrounds us, centered around our ancient rainforests?” said demonstrator Rainbow Eyes. “The next step is then to see the destruction we are inflicting on this great beauty and against humanity.”

About a year ago, the BC NDP released a report on old-growth forests. In it, the province committed to deferring logging in old-growth forests and involving Indigenous Nations in long-term decision-making.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to show logging has been deferred in some areas of Fairy Creek for at least two years. It’s also been updated to include context clarifying certain trees cannot be cut down due to their protected status.

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