The Fairy Creek “old growth” protest on the west Coast of Vancouver Island is a marriage made on the picket line between adolescent American eco-warriors and professional Canadian catastrophists.
For the one it means a battle fought in Canada without having to draw attention to similar practices at home. For the other it’s an effort to destroy the economic livelihood of a community in the name of an ill-defined alternative. Industry, (in this case a family firm in its fourth generation of BC owner-stewardship), is caught in the middle because any concession they might make is never enough. A First Nations entity with an interest in making a living is bulldozed to the side. Government is represented by an agglomeration of minor “I’m with you” politicians in search of cameras. It is an inevitable, if distressing appendage to the democratic process originated where people have co-opted the issue to meet some externally determined purpose.
Canadians, despite the efforts by those who purport to lead them, have rarely seen a time in their history when they have not tried to make bad situations better. Some Canadian leaders are demanding that citizens accept personal responsibility today for decisions taken by their predecessors well before most of them were born. It seems that the Fairy Creek protest has been wound into an aggregation of this imposed collective guilt and will likely feature in the election currently looming over Canada.
The left-wing people running this protest indicate they stand for the elimination of livelihoods they do not like, so anyone wanting something else has, for once, a fairly clear choice.
The fact that the Fairy Creek protestors are in the woods, intentionally blocking a company from working at their worksite, makes them aggressors. That they are there in violation of a court injunction exposes them as criminals. Harvesting trees, without a license or environmental impact study, makes them not only trespassers and thieves, but also hypocrites. The tampering of equipment and property earns them the title of vandal. Working in the forest with chainsaws, against extreme-fire-danger advisories, demonstrates their recklessness, endangering themselves, the forest, and the surrounding community.
When protestors then resist arrest, in some cases repeatedly, it is apparent that their intention is to deliberately escalate the situation. Escalation is a ploy activists have consistently used – provoke as big a scene as possible in order to push law-enforcement to deploy increased measures against them. To then film the whole thing, edit, and subsequently deliver only one side of the story, in order to fit with a prescribed narrative, is just another tool, among many, in their toolbox. One of the ironies is that many of these protestors are not even residents of the area, are externally funded, and some have travelled clear across the continent to be there.
Protesting is considered a right in the free world, but blocking a legal company, and its employees, from earning a living at their place of employment is not.
Unfortunately, the manpower required to deal with the mess is diverting resources, away from other more pressing crimes and situations, and is costing the public millions of dollars. Taxpayers, the people who actually pay the bills, are fed-up and want the obstructers, who call themselves protestors, gone.