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United Steelworkers condemn ‘extremist’ protest tactics at Fairy Creek

Union says protesters used tree spikes, tampered with helipads and encroached on tree fallers
A bus and sign are shown near the Eden blockade in the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, B.C., on May, 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS

The United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, a union representing forestry workers on Vancouver Island, are condemning what they call “extremist” tactics used by protesters at Fairy Creek.

In a news release, USW accused the protesters of driving metal spikes into trees to interfere with loggers, tampering with helicopter pads and encroaching on hand fallers as they cut down trees. USW Local 1-937 president Brian Butler condemned the protesters for their tactics.

RELATED: RCMP remove Fairy Creek protesters as trenches fill with rain

“The type of unsafe acts these extremists are perpetrating are outrageous and extremely dangerous for our members…tree spiking can lead to serious injury and death, not only when chain saws hit metal spikes causing kickbacks but to millworkers when saws hit spikes causing shrapnel to fly from damaged saws.”

Butler said no USW members have been injured by the protest tactics, but they are on “high alert” for potential safety hazards. He expressed concern that if the tactics continue, it could result in serious injury or death of forestry workers or protesters.

USW is calling on the Flying Rainforest Squad and other protesters at Fairy Creek to publicly denounce tactics that endanger forestry workers. USW also made a point of expressing their “full support” for the RCMP and their efforts to enforce a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to remove protesters from Fairy Creek.

Black Press Media has reached out to the Flying Rainforest Squad, but did not immediately receive a response.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the Fairy Creek protests began, making it the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

RELATED: Fairy Creek arrests surpass 1,000 mark


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