Vancouver Island: Gate Locked as RCMP Ramps up to Attack Growing Logging Blockades

photo: Fairy Creek Blockade

cross-posted from It’s Going Down

In so-called British Columbia, a campaign to stop the logging of old-growth forests has been building, with a network of active blockades forming a direct line of resistance to logging. According to the Fairy Creek Blockade on Instagram:

“Our movement is growing far beyond what anyone originally imagined. We are holding down a half dozen forest protection camps, and this fight is becoming about a lot more than just the forest. The time will soon come when the RCMP will show up in an attempt to break our movement. When they do we need you to be ready to spring into action and join us on the front lines.”

After over 285 days of direct resistance to the logging of old-growth forest, on May 17th, “they announced they will be setting up a checkpoint on McClure Road near the Caycuse Blockade, with arrests to follow.”

In a statement sent to It’s Going Down anonymously by anarchists involved in the blockade, forest defenders wrote:

“On May 17 2021, the same day RCMP scum began enforcing Teal Jones Group’s court injunction against long-term logging blockades in Pacheedaht and Ditidaht territory, we locked TJG’s gate on Grierson Main road.

This action happened inside the injunction zone, within a few hours of the pigs beginning their assault on the brave land defenders at Caycuse blockade.

This gate, one of many in the area installed by Teal Jones to restrict access to their operations, is so easily turned against them. It now obstructs them from further destroying the upper reaches of the already ravaged Camper Creek watershed.

Fuck the injunction. Fuck Teal Jones. FUCK the police. The land is too big for you to control.

And hey liberals, let’s get real. Defending the last 1% of old growth forests only, while actively promoting all other industrial logging in so called BC, is like trying to save a few wild animals in a tiny zoo, while promoting the factory farming of millions of others.

-Some anarchists.”

In a call for solidarity and support, the Fairy Creek Blockade wrote on Instagram:

“[L]and defenders have been preventing the clear cutting of old growth forest on Southern Vancouver Island for over 9 months, and now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are beginning to arrest protesters to clear the way for Industry to log some of our last old growth forests.

We need everyone to join us on the frontlines! Bring your friends and friends, bring your kids. Join us at Fairy Creek HQ. It’s on Google Maps and just a few hundred meters of pavement, from there you will be redeployed to where you are needed the most! There is room for both arrestable and non-arrestable positions at camp. Come self-sufficient.”

For updates, follow the Fairy Creek Blockade here.

Community Members Across the Pacific Northwest Protest Murphy Company’s Old Growth Logging

pics via South Sound Forest Defense

cross-posted from South Sound Forest Defense

(Elma, Washington & Eugene, Oregon) – This morning activists gathered at Murphy Company facilities in both Washington and Oregon in protest of their continued logging of bio-diverse old growth and mature forests. Advocates in Elma, Washington gathered at Murphy Softwood Veneer Plant, while in Eugene, Oregon community members rallied at Murphy Headquarters.
The protestors called for an end to clear-cut logging and for reparations for the destruction wrought by the Timber industry to be paid to Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities that disproportionately experience the impacts of environmental and climate pollution from industrial logging. Specifically, they called for the immediate halt of Murphy’s logging of old growth and mature forests on Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land in the Capitol State Forest.
One protestor said:“In the face of the climate crisis, if we are to have any chance at protecting our communities, we need to protect the land. We cannot afford to allow corporations like Murphy Company to clearcut our lifeline to the future.”
Another stated: “The Murphy Company is a threat to our society and to our environment. For decades they have shown that they are more concerned with private profit than with protecting our climate and our environment for current and future generations.”
The actions come as the Washington DNR last month acknowledged that the “Smuggler Sale” purchased by Murphy Company from the Washington DNR includes old growth forest that meets the criteria for protection. The DNR also acknowledged that they had failed to identify or mark individual structurally unique trees exceeding 60 inches in diameter, which should have been marked for retention. While two acres of the sale were dropped, protestors believe that no mature forest should be logged and that the Smuggler sale in the capitol forest should be dropped.

pics via South South Forest Defense

One activist said:“Public land management agencies and the timber industry are continuing the colonial legacy that birthed them and as such they are complicit in the harm they perpetuate. We refuse to be. They put profit above all else. They take more than they give and cover up the harm done by labeling lumber from clear-cuts sustainable.”

One community member stated: “The science is clear – logging increases wildfire risk. In the face of the growing threat of climate-driven wildfires, it is imperative that we protect our fire-resilient forests from being replaced with highly flammable dog-hair timber plantations”
For more information or interview, please email: worthmorestanding@protonmail.com (South Sound Forest Defense, Washington)
  • Read about previous actions to defend the so-called Capitol State Forest here.
  • Read about the climate impacts of logging here.
  • Learn more about the Smuggler timber sale.
  • Learn more about Murphys’ logging of old growth in rendsland creek.

Cops raid protest camp in Capitol Forest, lone man in canopy continues to block logging

Cross-posted from the Chameleon Blockade

For Immediate Release: 

Contacts: Chameleon Blockade, (360) 209 6426, chameleonblockade@protonmail.com

Ian Frederick, (360) 474 2387

Nathan McKay, mckayresources@protonmail.com

Cops raid protest camp in Capitol Forest, lone man in canopy continues to block logging

Capitol State Forest, WA – Early Wednesday afternoon, a convoy of trucks from at least four different law enforcement agencies parked on a logging road for an unannounced raid on a camp of forest protection activists, sweeping the camp away and leaving one man in the forest canopy tied to a contraption that continues to impede work on the controversial “Chameleon” timber sale. The officers came from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol, the state Fish and Game Department, and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the agency which planned and sold the timber sale and manages all of the Capitol State Forest. Law enforcement temporarily closed the roads to through traffic while they cleared the activists from the camp.

Alex Johnson, 29, a teacher from Olympia, was on the ground making coffee when the cops arrived. “There were just so many of them,” he said. “It seems like a lot of force to bring to deal with two unarmed civilians eating lunch.”

The two activists were briefly detained before being allowed to walk away while the officers attempted to negotiate with the remaining “tree-sitter” who continued to block the logging road. The DNR law enforcement eventually brought in spotlights and a generator and began to prepare for an extended siege of the tree-sit, which Mr. Johnson predicted would last a long time.

“I think these cops underestimate John’s commitment and endurance,” he said. “He thought hard about this before doing it, and he’s prepared to stay for quite a while. He’s one of the most stubborn guys I’ve ever met, and I tried to tell the cops that but I don’t think it’s sunk in for them yet.”

Johnson was referring to his friend in the canopy, John “Tree’Angelo” Barksdale. Mr. Barksdale, 34, an outdoor educator from Tumwater, has watched with dismay over the past several years as the DNR has systematically clear-cut most of its remaining old-growth stands. An avid hiker, he’s seen many of his favorite local trails turned to moonscapes.

“Unit 1 of Chameleon is some of the most intact forest, the best habitat left across one hundred thousand acres,” Barksdale said. “If we want all this to actually be a forest and not just an oversized tree plantation, we need to save at least something. We can’t clear-cut all of it.”

Barksdale has used years of climbing experience to erect a unique “dunk-tank” platform atop an old-growth douglas-fir tree, tied to an abandoned Ford Explorer parked across the proposed logging road. If the car moves, his platform drops. It’s about one hundred feet down to the steep slopes of the forest below. Barksdale claims to have plenty of food and water and says he is prepared to wait out the DNR indefinitely.

“I’ve always wanted to tree-sit,” he says. “I love trees. I love camping. I can work remotely out here and attend Zoom meetings from right here on the platform. It’s super dreamy up here, and I’m trying to save these trees. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.”

The protest camp, which was started ten days ago by a few friends of Mr. Barksdale, quickly picked up support from local hunters, fishermen and ATV users concerned about the health of the forest. Protectors of the Salish Sea, an indigenous water advocacy group, held space with songs and prayers at the blockade on Saturday. Multiple community groups across Thurston County have come out in support of the blockade and are calling for the cancellation of the timber sale.

“Governor Inslee claims to be the ‘climate Governor’, and even ran for President of the United States on a platform based on tackling climate change, yet he continues to allow the Department of Natural Resources to clearcut our state’s forests despite their potential to mitigate the climate crisis,” said Nathan McKay, a landscape architect from Lacey, Washington. “If Inslee was really a climate leader, he would call off this timber sale, and protect our forests for their carbon sequestration and storage potential.”

A rally is planned for today, Thursday, October 8, at 3pm at the gate of the logging road leading into the timber sale. Community members are invited to witness the siege and see the ancient trees in the proposed clearcut.

LA Times: In the redwoods, logging and tree sitting continue, even as the pandemic shuts mills

cross-posted from Redwood Forest Defense

Outside Trinidad, Calif., in an area known as Strawberry Rock, Walter, a 22-year-old UCLA student, is taking part in a tree sit-in to prevent a logging company from cutting redwoods and other trees.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

In the redwoods, logging and tree sitting continue, even as the pandemic shuts mills

By Susanne Rust

April 16, 2020