An environmental action group has once again pledged to disrupt traffic on a major Lower Mainland highway, and protests are set to begin in Vancouver.
Save Old Growth, the group that gave the B.C. government an ultimatum to halt all old-growth logging in the province last week, kicked off its traffic disruption protests Jan. 10 in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. On Monday, Jan. 17, the group says it will return to the Trans-Canada Highway, blocking unspecified off-ramps "in Vancouver, and then further in the week at different locations."
The activist group adds: "Highway 1 off -amps will continue to be blocked multiple times per week, and the frequency and scale of actions will escalate until all old-growth logging is stopped."
Save Old Growth describes itself as “an offshoot” of Extinction Rebellion, the group behind multiple protests in Metro Vancouver and Victoria that routinely blocks traffic on major roads, off- and on-ramps, and bridges in order to draw attention to the issue of climate change and what they believe is government inaction.
According to Save Old Growth's social media accounts, the newly-formed group has been recruiting and training members since November 2021.
"The government has an option to fulfill its election promises or send nonviolent people on the motorways to jail," says the group of its plan to continue blocking traffic.
Last week, three anti-logging protesters with Save Old Growth were arrested after a demonstration shut down traffic on the westbound Willingdon Avenue off-ramp of Highway 1 in Burnaby Monday morning. The protest was comprised of about a dozen people, including one who reportedly climbed onto the hood of a vehicle that had been forcibly stopped.
“The closure quickly created a significant traffic backup on Highway 1 during the morning commute,” stated the Burnaby RCMP in a media release.
Save Old Growth says 12 of its members were arrested as part of last week's actions, and many more are willing to risk arrest this week.
With a file from Cornelia Naylor / Burnaby NOW