The B.C. Supreme Court has convicted Green Party deputy leader Angela Davidson – also known as Rainbow Eyez – of seven counts of criminal contempt for her participation in the Fairy Creek logging blockades on Vancouver Island in 2021 and 2022.
Throughout late 2020 and 2021, more than 1,000 people were arrested for blocking forestry activity in the Caycuse/Fairy Creek area of western Vancouver Island.
Protesters were calling for an end to old-growth logging in the area, and in April 2021 the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction, which allowed police to arrest anyone obstructing work in the area.
Davidson was initially arrested on May 18, 2021, after she locked herself to a logging road gate within the injunction zone. She had a bicycle lock around her neck that was attached to the gate, and had one arm chained inside of a pipe that was attached to another person’s arm.
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Later that day, police removed her from the gate and brought her to the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment.
After she refused to agree to release conditions, which included not returning to the injunction zone, she was brought to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment and was held overnight in custody.
Dozens of supporters surrounded the Nanaimo courthouse to support Davidson that day, who was ultimately released on conditions not to return to the injunction zone.
However, the court ruled that Davidson did in fact return to the injunction zone six more times, resulting in the seven counts of criminal contempt.
READ MORE FROM AUGUST 2023: Three arrested as RCMP enforce Fairy Creek Watershed injunction
In June, Davidson went to a forestry site and was seen standing on a grader while “singing and using a drum,” which prevented workers from using the vehicle. She was arrested later that day.
The subsequent breaches of her release order were less dramatic – including returning to the injunction zone to give protesters food, and to search for a missing person – with the five additional counts spanning from June 2021 to January 2022.
However, B.C. Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled that the repeated violations of her release order were “continuous and flagrant” because she was aware that she was not supposed to return to the injunction zone.
Additionally, while Davidson argued that her role as an Indigenous land guardian compelled her to attend the injunction area, Hinkson was unconvinced by the argument, saying that the role could have been fulfilled in ways that didn’t violate her release conditions.
“I agree with the Crown that Ms. Davidson’s conduct was defiant, repeated and public, and certainly not minimal,” he said in his decision posted Thursday.
No sentencing for Davidson has been determined yet.
Davidson was named the Green Party of Canada’s deputy leader on June 21, 2022.