On Monday afternoon (Aug. 23) a group of people marched up the steps of Terrace RCMP in solidarity with protesters across B.C., condemning the actions of the RCMP at the Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island.
Multiple rallies were held across the province on Aug. 23, after videos of RCMP pepper-spraying protesters at the Fairy Creek blockade emerged on social media on Aug. 22.
While hundreds of protesters gathered outside RCMP detachments in Burnaby and Victoria, the Terrace gathering consisted of a smaller crowd.
Grassroots group called Matriarchs in Training protested outside the Terrace detachment before going in and delivering a message to the police.
“Right now the province is literally on fire. We are in climate crisis and the government continues to allow destruction of old growth forest that can buffer the threat of wildlife and protect the very ecosystem we need to survive,” Hilary Lightening, a representative of Matriarchs in Training, told the police.
Calling the actions of the police against the protesters “violent,” Lightening added that the removal of land defenders for corporate profit at the hands of the RCMP is unacceptable.
“We stand in solidarity with those who are putting their bodies on the front lines to defend sacred lands,” said Lightening.
Matriarchs in Training also condemned the actions of the police against Indigenous people, people of colour as well as what they say are the illegal arrests of journalists and legal observers at Fairy Creek along with the excessive and reckless use of force.
“As a local detachment we challenge you to speak out against these actions and demand better from your fellow officers,” Lightening told the RCMP officer who met with the group on the detachment premises.
The protests began in 2020 began as a step to block lumber company Teal Jones from accessing old-growth trees in the Fairy Creek watershed in Port Renfrew. Teal Jones received a court injunction in May barring protesters from blocking the roads. The RCMP have reported over 780 arrests since the enforcement of the injunctions began in May.