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Support grows for Vancouver Island blockade to halt old-growth logging, says protester

Last Updated May 30, 2021 at 10:01 pm PDT

(Courtesy Instagram, @marniereckerphoto)

People who've set up a blockade at a logging site on southern Vancouver Island insist they are gaining momentum

A protester who goes by the name of Axe Man estimates 500 vehicles brought in demonstrators to the Fairy Creek area

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Protesters at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island say support for their call to halt old-growth logging on Vancouver Island is only being magnified provincially and internationally.

Axe Man was one of the hundreds of protesters Saturday at the Fairy Creek watershed blockade — the biggest turnout so far.

“There was a lot of people … that came out today to support the movement,” Man said. “There was an elders … ceremony. There was maybe 200 to 300 people that were part of a gathering with some elders from a variety of different First Nations … they led us in a elders circle.”

Demonstrators in recent weeks have been arrested, as their blockade is now the subject of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction. However, there were no arrests Saturday.

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Man believes police officers’ hands are tied.

“They’re quite overwhelmed,” he said. “There is way more support for this, for protecting these ancient temperate rainforests, than there is actual resources for the RCMP to actually deal with it in a timely manner.”

Man tells NEWS 1130 the world is watching.

“This is actually at this point becoming a global international movement,” he said. “We’ve got international support from companies and scientists and influencers and business folks and cultural leaders all over the place — the list goes on.

“This is becoming a global movement that is even larger than just these forests right here in … B.C. This is about protecting these last ancient forests because they sequester more carbon than almost any above-ground ecosystem on Earth.”

The Pacheedaht band council, which has authority over the land in question, supports the logging. The band has a revenue-sharing deal with logging company Teal-Jones.