Seniors went to Fairy Creek to relieve young people who have been protesting logging in the area. (Submitted/Marnie Recker)

Seniors went to Fairy Creek to relieve young people who have been protesting logging in the area. (Submitted/Marnie Recker)

Seniors overwhelm RCMP barrier past Fairy Creek blockade

About 100 elderly hikers swarmed the RCMP exclusion zone, no arrests were made

A gang of seniors marched on logging roads in Fairy Creek on Tuesday (May 25) and said they completely overwhelmed the few RCMP officers who were there holding an exclusion zone.

Saul Arbess, 82, said when the officers saw more than 100 seniors marching up the road, they just rolled up their police tape that marks the exclusion zone at Road 2000 and left.

“We made quite an impression,” Arbess said.

Road 2000 is between the Fairy Creek blockade headquarters and a newer camp called Waterfall, which Arbess calls the last two outposts before any vehicles can enter the Fairy Creek watershed, where the whole thing started last August. That was when a group of people, Arbess included, started a blockade on the logging roads to stop Teal-Jones from logging in the Fairy Creek watershed.

That protest has since grown to include at least five blockades, the two major ones being Fairy Creek and Caycuse over near Lake Cowichan. Teal-Jones asked the court for an injunction that would remove the protesters, which was granted April 1. On May 17, the RCMP began to enforce it.

READ MORE: Fundraiser for arrested Vancouver Island logging protesters tops $18K

The exclusion zones, he said, are not in the injunctions and Arbess and others think they’re illegal.

“Of course, the whole object here was to get the government to respond, to get Premier (John) Horgan to respond. We cannot understand why he hasn’t responded.”

The seniors hiked on to Waterfall camp up a steep hill, taking by surprise the three protesters who were locked down in what Arbess called very uncomfortable positions. They gave encouragement and moral support to the young people who have been holding the line with their bodies.

READ MORE: Scientists release maps of B.C. old-growth forests, urge province to stop cutting

Alison Acker, 92, was there on Tuesday, as she had been in Clayoquot Sound during the famed War in the Woods in the early 1990s. She was arrested there and was prepared to be arrested now.

“I’m not seeking arrest unless it’s necessary, but it’s one of the few ways you can get your voice heard. As an old person, there are many things I can’t do, but I can walk up a hill and sit on my bottom,” Acker said.

There are reports of arrests at another location on the west side, but the RCMP has not yet confirmed those. Across the forests at the Caycuse camp, a record number of people were arrested, possibly bringing the total number arrested since May 17 to 100. RCMP did not confirm the number of arrests from May 25.

The protest does not seem to show signs of slowing down.

“This is our great disappointment. People don’t risk arrest and so forth without a strong purpose,” Arbess said. “The idea of direct action like this is to let society pause, to allow a reconsideration. And that’s just not happening.”

READ MORE: Arrests resume at logging protest camps on Vancouver Island


Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Fairy Creek watershedforestryprotestRCMP

Just Posted

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

(File)
“Gift card scam,” and “grandparent scam” are on the rise, Cranbrook RCMP say

Folks are falling for these scams: “No Government agency or reputable company will ever ask anyone to pay with gift cards in lieu of their fines”

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read