Tension is rising between Canadian police and activists who have been staging a months-long anti-logging resistance in Vancouver Island’s ancient forests. The protest has been underway for two years, led by environmental and First Nations activists, and is considered to be Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience ever. Canadian authorities have arrested nearly 1,000 people at Fairy Creek in British Columbia, and the protests show no sign of slowing down.
“We have a long history of asserting ourselves as coastal people, where our inherent right is not only based in our relationship to our communities but is based on our relationship and our legal systems and with the land,” says Kati George-Jim, a Coast Salish and Nuu-chah-nulth woman who joined the blockade in September 2020 and has been arrested numerous times.
“The police have no jurisdiction, and industry don’t have jurisdiction, on stolen land,” she says. We also speak with lawyer Noah Ross, who says police have used excessive violence to break up protests. “There’s been many, many instances where people of color have been specifically targeted,” says Ross.
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