An article from Do or Die Issue 5. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 42.
Ed.note. Vancouver is part of British Columbia, Canada. The area has a long tradition of ecological resistance. Most of what is called British Columbia is land beyond the treaty boundary: Land which was and continues to be taken by force from the native peoples and given to the multinationals. For the tribals of the Nuu-chahnulth nation ecocide = genocide. For the past 12 years a concerted campaign of resistance has included road blockades, tree sits, land occupations, marine blockades, tree spiking (24,000 in one stretch alone), bridge burning, digger burning, numerous imprisonments, boat sinking etc. This campaign has been waged jointly by native peoples and groups like EF! Hundreds were arrested last year defending the old growth forests. The campaign has been taken to Britain with numerous actions such as mill closures, supermarkets actions, office occupations and dock actions, (A good text to read is 'Stop Destroying Native Lands: Corporate Scum Get The Fuck Out! ' by Terra Prima!, available from Dead Trees EF!).
Burns Bog is the largest remaining green space in greater Vancouver. It is a 'domed bog' with moss up to 4 feet deep. Some of the critters who make it their home are black hears, cougars, coyotes, beavers, and carnivorous plants which are normally not found so far North. The small scrubby trees in the bog are hundreds of years old.
But it's the same old story: Burns Bog is threatened by corporate intrusion. Firstly, it is the main garbage dump for Vancouver. It's technically illegal to dump on unsteady ground, but somehow it is allowed in the bog, since the dump is so old and long established. The second threat to the bog comes from a proposal for a golfcourse which includes a road into a hitherto inaccessible and roadless area. Ocean Spray Cranberries could also be damaging the delicate ecosystem, as they gather their berries from the wild cranberry plants found there. Probably the only real way to protect Bums Bog is for British Columbia's provincial government to apply a 'Protected Area Strategy'.
We are fighting for its protection. As well as putting pressure on the government by doing our own research on the diversity of this fragile ecosystem, we are also doing actions. We parked a truck in the driveway to the dump, pretending it was broken down. A huge 18-wheeler dump truck stopped to see what was going on, and as they did, two Earth First!ers locked down to the truck. As 50-60 trucks and cars normally enter the dump each hour, this caused quite a disturbance. There were garbage trucks backed up for miles. The road is too narrow for them to turn around. 10 people were arrested, six let free, four with later trials. We are also hanging banners about Burns Bog by highways.
Other actions include protesting raw log exports by climbing the crane of a large loading boat. Two people climbed and hung an EF! banner. The sad part is they are facing up to six months jail. As we have no laws as horrendous as the CJA this comes as quite a shock.
Members of Friends of the Wolf B.C. and Vancouver EF! did a hunger strike. We striked and had a booth and huge banner on the lawn of the provincial legislature in Victoria for nine days. Though the wolves are still being poisoned, we got good media attention, and tons of support (including financial) from the public.
Vancouver EF!ers include and work with members of Friends of the Wolf and a newish animal rights group, Animal Allies. This has been wonderful, as there just aren't enough activists for us not to work together! As a result, we are growing very quickly both in numbers and in strength. Many other actions have not been described in this letter, including a lock down to the doors of the Ministry of Environment, that stopped their workers from entering the building. At that action we also hung dead animals from a post to show passers by what the poison the government uses to kill wolves does to all critters. We'll keep in touch. Feel free to contact us.
With Love & Support
-Vancouver Earth First!
Vancouver EF!, P.O. Box 16071, 3017 Mountain Highway,
North Vancouver, BC V71 2R0, CANADA
Terra Prima!/West Coast Earth First!, #615-620 View Street, Victoria, BC VSW I J6, CANADA,
Animal Allies, #424-1195 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6E IN2, CANADA
Friends of the Wolf B.C., P.O. Box 29113, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X4, CANADA