Yesterday, news came down that Justice Thomas had refused to extend the injunction that prevented defenders from blocking Teal Cedar Products getting to trees at Fairy Creek, because the way the injunction was enforced by RCMP, against the defenders, was, basically, an embarrassment. It put the court’s reputation at risk. More than 1100 people had been arrested in 6 months of enforcing the court ordered injunction, and 101 criminal contempt charges laid.
“The methods of enforcement of the court’s order have led to serious and substantial infringement of civil liberties, including impairment of the freedom of the press to a marked degree. And, enforcement has been carried out by police officers rendered anonymous to the protesters, many of those police officers wearing ‘thin blue line’ badges. All of this has been done in the name of enforcing this court’s order,” said Justice Thomas.
As that news was reaching the newsmakers, just before 5pm, Pemberton’s Katrina Nightingale was being heard on CBC, telling Gloria Macarenko what had prompted her to go to Fairy Creek for herself, and what her takeaways were.
We shared some of Kat’s thoughts a few weeks ago. Yesterday, she expressed beautifully what’s at stake here. It makes no sense to make this a story of loggers versus protestors, or protestors versus police. That is an oversimplification, a narrative designed to make people pick sides, when ultimately, she reminds us, we all share a common humanity.
And we all share a common interest in breathable air, functioning ecosystems, and the actions of today serving the people who will be wanting to walk in the woods 20 years from now.
I originally decided to go to the protest because I’d seen so much on social media that was disturbing, especially around RCMP involvement and as I have teenage children, I was really concerned about what they were seeing, and I finally just wanted to find out the truth for myself. It was the pepper spray incident that got me out of my chair and to Fairy Creek… I dressed in my middle-aged mom clothes and that enabled me access and some pretty heartfelt conversations with protestors, RCMP and industry. What I learned is that these young people protesting were an incredibly articulate passionate group of young people who just feel what is happening is wrong. I had conversations with RCMP members who see the bigger picture, don’t necessarily want the trees cut down, but they have families to feed. Some of the industry members have been involved in the industry for a long time, they don’t recommend their children going into it, and for them, retirement can’t come soon enough.
John Horgan, this needs to stop now. What’s happening is not working. Let’s show some leadership here. Let’s start talking transition funding and get the deferrals that have been asked for going. Talk and log is not working. Old growth forestry has to stop. I have hope that perhaps things can change and I’m not going to let go of that hope. And I have to look my kids in the eye 20 years down the road and say, I did my best.Katrina Nightingale
As I was tuning in to hear Kat’s interview, this rainbow lit up the sky. It felt like a sign. As leader of the BC Green party, Sonia Fursteunau said this morning, this is really about the debt we owe to the future. What are we passing forward? I lift up the defenders, the elders, the people who went to camp, who got arrested, who put themselves on the line, who maintained an energy of love and non-violence in the face of a heavily militarized force. I lift up the journalists and photographers who went out to bear witness and to document what was happening, despite illegal infringements to their rights and intimidation. And that’s also why I think we need more mommas’ voices as part of the dialogue, because most momma’s I know are like, “I don’t really care who hit who, so much as I care about the world you’re going to have to navigate when you leave my care, and my ability to protect you, and embark on your lives… and I’d really like that not to be apocalyptic and for everyone to have some ability to get along.”)