Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

VICTORIA — Opponents of old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island say they will stage a hunger strike in Vancouver until they can meet with British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal environment and climate change minister.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Zain Haq says in a statement Sunday the hunger strike is in support of protestors camped near old-growth forest logging areas west of Victoria, which has been the scene of 222 arrests in recent weeks at Fairy Creek.

Haq says the hunger strikers will gather Sunday at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver and refuse food until they get the meeting with Horgan, Wilkinson and B.C. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy to discuss old-growth logging and climate change.

READ MORE: Two minors among eight arrested by RCMP as old-growth logging protests continue

On Wednesday, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations who wanted old-growth logging deferred in their territories for two years, but the protests are continuing.

The RCMP began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction ordering the removal of blockades and protesters at several sites on May 17, and on Saturday arrested eight more people for breaching the injunction, including two minors.

Activists say little of the best old-growth forests remain in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact valley on southern Vancouver Island.

“Our demand is to meet with the premier, the minister of forestry and the federal minister for climate change and environment Canada,” says Haq. “We want to eat, but we will wait for them. Whether we eat or not will be completely up to the three politicians.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2021.

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