Old-growth logging protesters locked themselves together in an effort to get their message across on the highway in Nanaimo this morning.
Extinction Rebellion members and supporters blocked the southbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway at Cranberry Road on Thursday, Jan. 27.
They blocked traffic for about 20 minutes before Nanaimo RCMP arrived and directed protesters to the roadside. Three protesters remained and were arrested, including two – Howard Breen and Vic Brice – who had bike-locked themselves together at the knees.
Extinction Rebellion’s protest Thursday was part of a Save Old Growth campaign that has disrupted traffic on numerous occasions this month in Nanaimo, Victoria and elsewhere.
“Our Save Old Growth organizational challenge is civil society continues to make the mistake of talking about climate breakdown as a polar bear problem and not a people problem,” said Brice in a press release.
He said the “safe disruptions” are meant to get the attention of the public and also what he called “an anti-nature, neo-liberal government.”
Breen, who super-glued himself to logs in Nanaimo harbour last year, said in the release that the planet is “on life support” and criticized B.C.’s forestry practices.
“So what do we do in this dire situation? What does it mean for how we act?” he asked. “Does it mean we go for the business-as-usual forest liquidation approach even though we know the consequences are likely to be existentially catastrophic? Or do we fundamentally try to rethink and change strategies?”
The B.C. government said in a press release last week that it is committed to implementing all recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review and developing a new old-growth strategy. It said it is working with First Nations “to find agreement on deferrals of at-risk ancient, remnant and large old-growth forests” identified by a technical advisory panel.