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

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

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

Most Read