In 1993, I witnessed the large, grassroots and ultimately even international protests against the decision of the provincial government of British Columbia, Canada, to allow the clearcutting of most of Clayoquot Sound. This was one of the last remaining pristine watersheds on Vancouver Island. The following pictures I took then. They are a tribute to the spirit of a community fighting against societal and environmental injustice.
All through summer, blockades of the logging road were held in Clayoquot Sound
MacMillan Bloedel logging company staff videotaping the protesters. This evidence would later be used in the court cases.
Gathering near the bridge at dawn.
The loggers and the police have arrived. MacMillan Bloedel staff reads the court injunction to leave the road.
The circle of people to be arrested that day are summoned by the police to leave the road.
The police preparing. MacMillan Bloedel ready to film the arrests.
The first arrest.
The last stand.
The arrested taken to the police station by school bus.
Loggers getting ready to go to work.
Sunrise at the logging road bridge.
The entrance to the "Peace Camp", base of the protesters.
Banner of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations' People, the original inhabitants of the Clayoquot Sound area.
Overview of the "Peace Camp", base of the protesters. It was situated in the "Black Hole", a previously clearcut area.
Plenary meeting in the Peace Camp. Each night, all plans and conflicts were discussed in an effective consensus-seeking process. One of the main issues on the agenda always was who was going to be arrested the next day.
Another roadblock. Waiting for the authorities and the logging company to arrive.
Showdown, the police and MacMillan Bloedel have arrived. The persons with the pink ribbons were peacekeepers, who were mostly successful in calming down emotions often running very high.
The police arresting a buddhist sitting in lotus position.
The police arresting a grandmother while bystanders are applauding.
Loggers getting ready to cross the bridge across the logging road.
Logging truck passing the protesters after the blockade has been broken.
Simultaneously, many demonstrations were held near the courthouse and Parliament Buildings in Victoria, the provincial capital. Although close to a thousand people were convicted of criminal contempt of court, the pressure led to the original plans being modified. How sustainable those changes are, is still to be seen.
A banner is removed that a protestor had attached to the flagpole next to the Parliament Buildings.
Protesters and accused gathering outside the courthouse at the first day of the mass-trials.
The first day of the mass-trials: international press coverage of this unique moment in community activism history.
Marching from the courthouse to Parliament Buildings.
If the law is unjust, it needs to be changed: the demonstration has reached Parliament Buildings.
Calling for transparency.
Protecting Nature is not a crime: on the way back to the courthouse, for justice to be done?
First Nations elder making a passionate plea for policy change.