A group that has been blockading highways in B.C. in 2022 to protest government policies that permit logging of some areas of old growth forests in B.C. announced it will cease its highway blockades.
In a statement sent from an email address associated with past emailed statements from the Save Old Growth group, it said it was stopping the blockades as of June 29: “Major traffic disruptions will end today,” wrote the Save Old Growth group in the statement. “Other strategies will be used that won’t stop traffic.”
The group said it is shifting its focus to other tactics such as “public outreach and events.”
Most of the group’s blockades happened in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, but there was a group that mounted at least three blockades in Revelstoke.
RCMP detained two blockaders on the bridge at the Trans-Canada Highway saying they were under arrest for mischief. The bridge is cleared and traffic resumed at 9:13 a.m. Saturday, April 9. pic.twitter.com/7I81cJFECU
Two of them led to arrests when protesters sat down on the Trans-Canada Highway bridge over the Columbia River and refused to leave when asked by police.
The group argued that past efforts to stop old growth logging in B.C. hadn’t achieved the goals it wanted, so its blockades were intended to raise awareness and increase pressure on government to change its policies.
Although activists may perceive actions such as civil disobedience techniques to be an urgent and necessary escalation that increases pressure on government, the actions they choose may not have that effect, and also risk having the opposite effect if they alienate people.
In mid-June, a Vancouver Island protester’s hip was shattered after an improvised ladder contraption he was sitting on in the middle of the highway toppled over following confrontations with motorists.