The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is highly concerned about the RCMP Exclusion Zone near the Rainforest Flying Squad camp at the Caycuse Creek old-growth logging blockade on unceded Ditidaht territory. The BCCLA is disturbed to learn that the RCMP have established two check points along the McClure Main and Caycuse Main roads near the Caycuse blockade. According to the RCMP, the exclusion zone was established in order to enforce an injunction obtained by the Teal-Jones forestry company from the B.C. Supreme Court on April 1, 2021. However, there is no geographical restriction within the injunction; the injunction does not prevent people entering into a geographical area. Further, the injunction explicitly allows for peaceful protest in the area as long as the terms of the order are not violated.
In our view, the RCMP’s actions are overbroad in scope and constitute an inconsistent, arbitrary, and illegal exercise of discretion to block members of the public, including legal observers and the media, from accessing the area and to monitor police activity. This situation is alarmingly reminiscent of what occurred in Wet’suwet’en territories last year. In that situation, we filed a complaint to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. The CRCC responded, saying that “’buffer zones’ may only be established in accordance with the parameters detailed by the courts…anything outside of these bounds is impermissible in a free and democratic society.”
The BCCLA stands in solidarity with the old growth forest defenders, the Rainforest Flying Squad and Legal Observers Victoria. We appreciate those who articulate a connection between human rights and protection of the environment, and we support those exercising their inherent Indigenous rights and Charter-protected rights to freedom of assembly. We will monitor RCMP activity at Fairy Creek and we remind the RCMP that the Constitution is the ultimate law that they are charged to uphold.