Ada’itsx (Fairy Creek, BC), September 28, 2021 – Marking a huge milestone in the fight to protect old-growth forests in BC, today the application to extend the injunction against the forest defenders in Fairy Creek was denied. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson called the protesters “good citizens” and decided the RCMP’s misconduct represented such a threat to the reputation of the Court in the public mind that it outweighed the interests of Teal Cedar in having the injunction extended.
Judge Thompson noted that things had changed at Fairy Creek since the original injunction was granted. He drew a sharp contrast between the evidence before Judge Verhoeven who granted the original injunction, and evidence at the hearings held September 14 – 17 in Nanaimo. He noted significant police misconduct including:
  • Stripping protesters’ covid masks before pepper-spraying them
  • Improper constraints on freedom of the press
  • Use of illegally expansive exclusion zones
  • Wearing Thin Blue Line badges contrary to RCMP Headquarters directives
  • Failing to wear identification
  • Unlawfully seizing and destroying personal effects such as vehicles, tents, sleeping bags, food, and even a guitar
  • Using constant police messaging that their actions are undertaken to enforce the Court’s order.
Kathleen Code, a spokesperson for Rainforest Flying Squad, said she took heart from the Judge’s clear condemnation of the refusal by the RCMP to wear identification and their continued wearing of the Thin Blue Line badges, especially in light of the presence of many Indigenous people protesting ancient forest logging. She added, “I think it’s significant that he quoted only one protester and that person is Indigenous, and that he called out the RCMP for being willfully divisive.”
In making his decision, Judge Thompson also took into account the behaviour of the protesters, noting that of the countless interactions between police and protesters, “most have been respectful, and nearly all to this point have been non-violent. This is consistent with what I have come to know during many bail applications by even the most militant of the protesters.” He added that, “They are respectful, intelligent, and peaceable by nature. They are good citizens in the important sense that they care intensely about the common good. The videos and other evidence show them to be disciplined and patient adherents to standards of non-violent disobedience.”
It’s still unknown how the RCMP will attend to the blockade. The Judge said, “the RCMP will have to reevaluate its ability to continue to conduct enforcement operations.”

The Court pointedly declined to factor in the importance of old-growth rainforests in mitigating our climate emergency, in effect reminding politicians of their constitutional responsibility and that this is not the responsibility of the courts. Code noted that while the Judge said he is prohibited from factoring in the need to protect old growth, a powerful case can be made for doing so.

“We call on politicians and decision-makers to step up and fulfil their political obligation to protect ancient old-growth forests,” says Code. “We invite all those who recognize the vital importance of our remaining ancient rainforests to join us in protecting these forests now, and for future generations.”