Christine Johnston, a supporter of old growth forests for 50 years, at a demonstration outside the B.C. legislature on June 23. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Christine Johnston, a supporter of old growth forests for 50 years, at a demonstration outside the B.C. legislature on June 23. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Demonstrators at B.C. legislature show support for arrested old-growth logging protesters

More than 50 people attend, rock installation represented those arrested in Fairy Creek area

Opponents of the provincial government’s handling of old-growth logging once again took to the B.C. legislature on Wednesday, this time to express support for counterparts in the forests who’ve been arrested.

A group of over 50 demonstrators waved signs and accepted honks from passing vehicles near the intersection of Government and Belleville streets in the afternoon. The group then laid rocks at the base of a tree on the legislature lawn, with each stone representing one of the 271 people, as of June 23, who have been arrested in the Fairy Creek Watershed as the RCMP continues to enforce a court-ordered injunction.

Over 50 demonstrators laid rocks at a tree at the B.C. legislature on June 23, with each stone representing a person who’s been arrested while protesting old growth logging. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Tasha Diamant, the demonstration’s organizer, said crowds of between 40 and 80 have been consistently coming to the legislature every Wednesday to voice their opposition with the premier and his government over the old-growth file.

“Over and over, we’re asking for John Horgan to keep his promise, which is to protect the last of the old growth in British Columbia,” Diamant said.

READ: B.C. approves deferral of old-growth logging at Fairy Creek, Walbran valleys

The demonstrators were also denouncing the RCMP’s presence and tactics in the watershed against what they called peaceful and unarmed protesters.

“The RCMP shouldn’t have been (there) in the first place,” Diamant said. “It’s beyond over-policing, it’s absolute corruption.”

One of the several older demonstrators at the June 23 event was Christine Johnston, who’s been a strong supporter of preserving old-growth forests for the last 50 years. She said forestry should be done in a sustainable and selective way, but shouldn’t include cutting old-growth trees.

“Only several varieties get really huge and these I would like to see (saved),” she said.

The rock installation was a way to honour the arrested protesters, Diamant said, but was expected to be cleaned up by legislature after demonstrators left. She hoped a local business will take up their cause and give the rock installation a permanent home.

READ: Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory


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