Old-growth rally, march expected to affect traffic in downtown Victoria Saturday

Old-growth rally, march expected to affect traffic in downtown Victoria Saturday

A protest in support of B.C.’s old-growth forests is expected to cause some traffic impacts in Victoria’s downtown core Saturday, according to police.

The event will take place in the area of the B.C. Legislature and will see a “large number of people” gather for a rally, speeches and a march between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., police said in news release.

“The protest is one of four which are planned to occur over the weekend, and the only one which we are currently aware of which may include traffic disruptions,” police said.

READ MORE: Old-growth logging protesters take to Victoria courthouse amid blockade injunction hearing

The event is being called “The Last Stand – Mass Mobilization” and aims to bring awareness to the topoic of old-growth clear-cutting in the province.

“We need laws to protect ancient forests in a climate crisis and not to prosecute people standing up to protect them in the absence of legislated government protection,” the event page reads.

On Friday, the BC Supreme Court was continuing to hear an injunction application from logging company Teal-Jones, which is asking for the removal and dismantling of a blockade leading to an old-growth logging operation in Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew.

Members of the Pacheedaht First Nation, among others, have been fighting to preserve the old-growth in the region because it’s traditional unceded territory includes the land the Fairy Creek watershed is found on, say elders.

On Friday, a decision on the injunction application was delayed to April 1, according to old-growth activists.

The additional protests being held in Victoria this weekend include rallies for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2 Spirited (MMIWG2S), a protest against the Trans Mountain expansion and a rally against anti-Asian hate.

Police say as per public health orders, people have the right to peaceful assembly as long as safety measures are taken against COVID-19 including masks and six-foot physical distancing.


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