The ongoing struggle to protect Fairy Creek
As a long time university student and photographer I saw the images of old growth forest in textbooks and on TV but I actually never thought I would be there. Looking at images and videos of old growth forest can’t really depict the experience of actually going to a place with people willing to risk their own safety and lives to protect old growth forest. The opportunity came for me in April before the injunction and the RCMP came and began arresting people. A number of friends and I arrived at Fairy Creek and it was a life changing experience as I waked around Camp and into the wilderness.
Looking at 100 to 2,000 year old tress was a truly magical experience as well as seeing countless bird species, elk as well as a cougar in the wild; all was a powerful experience for me. But also one can see the clearcuts of 1,000 to 2,000 year old trees and I was deeply saddened. I spoke with countless activists who were willing to do anything to protect old growth forest because I recognized the love people had for the old growth forest.
I left campsite but it was life changing from me. Later on I heard many people I spoke with got arrested and many were mistreated by the RCMP. I felt angry and astounded at how the RCMP treated people, but this begs the question of who is accountable for police behaviour as many people filed complaints and reported this but the RCMP kept on surveilling people as well as disrespecting seniors. Both non-indigenous and indigenous people were in many ways manhandled. It really is astounding how people have to fight their own government to protect the environment and safeguard these forests for future generations. With the new deferral this is just a pause in logging but no really protection as logging of old growth forest continues across the prince and around Fairy Creek. We must all collectively do better!