Mass Arrests and Violation of Press Freedom at Fairy Creek

The Thorn


June 3, 2021

The following is a statement issued by socialist groups in Vancouver on the ongoing struggle against old-growth logging on Vancouver Island: 

Since May 18, the RCMP have arrested at least 151 protesters (land defenders) trying to stop logging company Teal Jones from logging one of the most significant remaining old-growth forests in North America near Fairy Creek in Vancouver Island’s Walbran Valley. Back in August 2020, protesters set up blockades on the logging roads leading to the logging sites. On April 1, the BC Supreme Court granted an injunction to allow police to remove protesters.

The leaders of the Pacheedaht First Nation signed a ‘Benefits Agreement’ with Teal Jones, but the logging is opposed by some Nation members; and among those arrested are members of the Pacheedaht Nation, whose unceded territories include Fairy Creek and the Walbran Valley, and members of the neighbouring Ditidaht Nation.

Since April 1, more and more protesters have been arriving at the site, and numbers have increased since arrests began. Some protesters have chained themselves to their makeshift barricades, some to metal gates along access roads, some to stumps of previously logged old-growth trees, and some have suspended themselves high up among the up to 2,000 year old trees. The media report that a large group of senior citizens even tried to chain themselves around a group of RCMP officers.

On Friday, May 28, hundreds of protesters marched to BC Premier John Horgan's constituency office to demand an end to the arrests. Horgan's BC NDP government was elected in 2017 on a promise to reduce old-growth logging permits. And yet old-growth logging permits have doubled since 2017. Demonstrations against the NDP’s policy occurred in several cities over the weekend and hundreds rallied on Monday, May 31 outside the office of BC Minister of Environment George Hayman.

As human activity driven by profits for the capitalist ruling class hurtles our planet ever closer to runaway climate catastrophe, ecosystem collapse and mass species extinction – catastrophes that threaten the long-term survival of human life -- the logging of what remains of old-growth forests on this planet is unconscionable. Every measure possible must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to prevent biodiversity loss and mass species extinction.

The RCMP have enforced 'exclusion zones' where both protesters and media have arbitrarily been denied entry. When journalists have been allowed entry, they've been corralled in 'media zones' that are too far from the action to get footage of any arrests. This is a gross violation of constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press.

Media reports are that logging trucks and workers from logging company Teal Jones, which was granted a permit to log some of the old-growth forest in the area, have been allowed into the 'exclusion zones', and have been logging old-growth, even as media have been kept out.

The Canadian Association of Journalists and a coalition of seven media outlets have launched a court application to have the injunction changed to guarantee media access.

On Tuesday, May 31, in response to the recent protests, BC Premier John Horgan announced a ‘new’ forestry plan for BC. This inadequate plan merely reiterates the existing plan, while delaying action for a couple of years. It includes:

  • No respite for Fairy Creek old-growth logging.

  • No new old-growth deferrals, but the promise of more consultation.

  • New old-growth plans in 2023.

We reject the recent announcement on old-growth logging by the BC government. We stand in solidarity with the protesters, indigenous land defenders and arrested persons at Fairy Creek, as well as those members of the media who have been denied access to cover the arrests at Fairy Creek. We call on the government of BC Premier John Horgan to order the RCMP to stop arresting protesters, to respect the constitutional rights of the media, and to immediately release all persons arrested at the Fairy Creek blockades. We call on the BC government to immediately halt any logging that threatens the integrity of old growth forests in BC, and to work with other levels of government to fully compensate the Pacheedaht Nation for their share of logging revenues foregone.

Democratic Socialists of Vancouver
Vancouver Ecosocialists

Socialist Action

Action you can take for Fairy Creek

If you are heart broken or enraged by the now-viral images being circulated online of up to 2,000-year-old trees being hauled away for the profit of the private companies like the Teal Jones Group, there are many ways that you can voice your frustrations and help prevent further demolition of these historical, cultural, and ecologically significant sites. 

A Go Fund Me Campaign has been set up to support Indigenous land defenders in whatever ways are needed to support their frontline work.

There are also non-financial ways to take action. 

You can call the office of Premier John Horgan and let him know exactly what you think of the NDP Government’s selling of BC’s most diverse ecosystems:

(250) 387-1715 

You can also send him an email at: 

If you have multiple email accounts, we recommend sending multiple emails, just to make sure the point gets through. 

You can also send an email to the Teal Jones Group, which is responsible for the logging of Fairy Creek. Their contact information may be hard to find online, as they have removed their “Contact us” page from their website. However, they can be reached at the following email address: or by calling these numbers: 

604-581-4104  /  604-587-8700

If you’re in the mood to really frustrate them, you can send them a letter or parcel with the following mailing address:

17897 Triggs Road, Surrey, BC V4N 4M8

It is highly recommended that we send emails and make calls to complain about the senseless destruction of our beautiful old growth forests. You can also call your local MLA or pay a visit to their office. 

If you want to stay up to date on what is going on at the Fairy Creek Blockade, you can follow @rainforestflyingsquad or @fairycreekblockade on instagram. Posts are updated daily with the latest information on how to get involved, help out from a distance, and be a strong ally to the forest.

Ricochet has had and will continue to have journalists on the ground at Fairy Creek and have been publishing articles about the situation on a regular basis. Their Twitter @ricochet_en provides additional video updates not available on their website.