Activist environmental group Save Old Growth is returning to its regular road blockades this month after it says the province failed to meet its old-growth logging demands during the group’s one-month hiatus.
Save Old Growth had been disrupting major roadways and highways throughout B.C. for six months when it announced at the end of June it was “de-escalating disruptive action” and turning to public outreach and events to get its message across instead.
“Major traffic disruptions will end today,” the group said in a news release at the time.
Last Thursday (July 28) though, Save Old Growth changed its tune, announcing it would be returning to its original tactics. An organizer said they gave the government a chance to act on old-growth logging disruption-free, and it failed to take it.
“B.C. old growth forests are being clear cut as politicians enjoy summer vacation. We’re here to remind them of their broken promises,” the organizer said in a news release.
Save Old Growth’s goal is to pressure the B.C. government into banning all old-growth logging in the province. So far, the government has only committed to logging deferrals on about 1.7-million hectares of the ancient forests.
Commuters driving through Stanley Park in Vancouver were the first to be hit by Save Old Growth’s renewed action on Tuesday (Aug. 2). Protesters there blocked traffic in both directions for about 40 minutes, according to the group.
No one was arrested, but Save Old Growth says its volunteers are fully prepared to face legal consequences. More than 120 members have been arrested since action began in January, according to the group.
“The government continues to ignore the fundamental role that old growth forests play to protect us from the ravages of the climate crisis. These forests will never see another summer. They’re dead zones now,” Save Old Growth organizer Gabrielle Handy said in a news release Tuesday.
The group said commuters can expect regular blockades on major routes around Victoria, Metro Vancouver, Nanaimo and elsewhere once again.