B.C. Premier John Horgan claims he wants to see an end to the conflict over old-growth logging at Fairy Creek – but continues to dodge his responsibility to keep citizens safe with more inaction. [1] And Indigenous youth and their allies are paying a heavy price.

Over the last few months, police violence escalated against peaceful forest protectors at Fairy Creek/Ada’itsx Blockades, the Indigenous-led frontline of an ongoing 2-year fight to protect the last stands of globally significant ancient temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island. Footage of RCMP choking, pepper spraying, punching, and dragging activists face down over rocks by their hair has gone viral. [2] [3] [4] Reports of officers wearing thin blue line patches, using illegal “catch and release” detainments, interfering with legal observers and journalists and creating illegal exclusion zones to block freedom of the press have garnered mainstream attention – shocking and outraging the public. [5]

This public outrage has not gone unheard: when logging company Teal Jones sought an extension to the court-ordered injunction against the blockades, Justice Thompson sided with the forest protectors and denied the extension, stating plainly that RCMP tactics used to enforce it have resulted in the trampling of civil liberties and put the court’s own reputation at risk. [6]

But the fight is far from over – more arrests have already been made. [7] And Teal Jones has already appealed the court’s decision, receiving a temporary injunction that will no doubt fuel the conflict. [8]

Enough is enough. Now is the time to push for solutions for the forest – and accountability for the police. 

With the expiration of the injunction, the ball is back in Premier Horgan’s court. But so far, he continues to stall and delay, missing his own summer deadline under the guise of needing more ‘research’. [9]

Yet a provincial report released last year already provided a clear path forward. [10] After a summer of raging wildfires and a record-breaking heatwave in the province, how many more reports will it take for him to understand that these climate-cooling ecosystems that safeguard rare plant and animal life must be protected? 

In a code red climate emergency, we will not stand idle as Indigneous forest protectors endure police brutality because the government continues to put industry profits over our right to a climate-safe future – and leaves First Nations like the Gitanyow to protect their lands without provincial support. [11]

We can’t all be present on the frontline. But we all have a voice. Now is the time to use it. Stand with the peaceful forest protectors by sending an email directly to Premier John Horgan, Forests Minister Katrine Conroy and the B.C. RCMP: John Horgan must keep his promises to protect old-growth forests. The RCMP must acknowledge the police violence at Fairy Creek and take steps to stop it from happening again.

[1] https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/10/04/Horgan-Fairy-Creek-Excuses-Betray-Citizens/











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