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Over 10 arrests as ‘Save Old Growth’ disrupted traffic on the Trans Canada Highway off ramps

Save Old Growth group on a crosswalk with banners

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2022
Media Contact: Brent Eichler (604 355 5794)
Email: saveoldgrowth@protonmail.com

Over 10 arrests as ‘Save Old Growth’ disrupted traffic on the Trans Canada Highway off ramps

3 arrests made in Burnaby and 7 in Victoria.

Unceded Coast Salish Territories – The Trans Canada Highway was disrupted today at two off-ramps and Highway 1, Nanaimo, in BC, to demand an end to all Old Growth logging. The west bound traffic on Willingdon and Grandview was disrupted during morning rush hour at 7:30 AM, resulting in 3 arrests.  In Victoria, 7:30 AM,  2900 Trans Canada Highway was disrupted, resulting in 7 arrests. 2 more are expected to be arrested in Nanaimo. The campaign has commenced in Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. Initially highway 1 off ramps will be blocked every week, and the frequency and scale of actions will escalate until all old growth logging is stopped. The government has an option to fulfill its election promises that have over 80% support, or send nonviolent people on the motorways to jail. Save Old Growth is determined to keep escalating each week that goes by without government response. 

One of the people participating, Tara, says  “I am pissed off, that this is the type of action it takes to get our government’s attention. We are forming picket lines, we are choosing to opt out of the choices that the government is making on our behalf”. “We’re here to strike, we’re saying: no thank you. This is a start.” they added. 

“During the next 6 months the government will be faced with the dilemma of either implementing their own promises or arresting and imprisoning hundreds of British Columbians,” said Johannah, a spokesperson for the group. 

“We don’t want to be doing this, but Forestry minister Conroy, Premier Horgan and the NDP government have failed to keep their promise to stop active old growth logging, and therefore, further guarantee ecological collapse. This scale of disruption is our last resort.” added Johannah. 

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Background | About Save Old Growth | Links 

  • Save Old Growth is a new direct action group that is calling on the BC government to end old growth logging and keep their promises. 
  • The group is part of a grouping of emerging organisations around the world, like Blockade Australia, Last Generation, and others.
  • The group seeks inspiration from the Insulate Britain campaign in the UK and the Freedom Riders in the 1960s US, who campaigned for a minor demand from the government by risking imprisonment over a campaign that lasted 6 months. 
  • We are scared: our livelihoods are at risk and the futures of our children are uncertain
  • The Climate Crisis is a threat to all: we demand the government to act now.

Group’s demand

Immediate end to all Old Growth logging in the province of British Columbia by January 9, 2022.


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Background

  1. Blockade at Fairy Creek https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/8/inside-battle-to-save-canada-ancient-old-growth-forests
  2. 2 arrested at road block for old growth: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/climate-change-protest-vancouver-1.6064000 
  3. What is Insulate Britain? ttps://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58916326
  4. 9 Insulate Britain activists jailed: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/17/nine-insulate-britain-activists-jailed-for-breach-of-road-blockades-injunction 
  5. Freedom-Riders https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/us/politics/freedom-riders-john-lewis-work.html 
  6. Italian sister organization – Last Generation https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/17/environmental-activists-spat-at-by-drivers-at-rome-protest