PHOTOS: Seniors block B.C. legislature streetfront in old-growth solidarity protest

Clare Lowery, 92, was one of many seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Clare Lowery, 92, was one of many seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)Seniors at a demonstration that shut down traffic on Belleville Street outside the legislature on Thursday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

More than 100 seniors blocked the street in front of the B.C. legislature on Thursday as they prepared to be arrested in solidarity with younger counterparts currently in old-growth forests.

After a land acknowledgement, demonstrators used police tape to close off Belleville Street at Government and Menzies streets. As the elderly citizens gathered to listen to speakers, some laid on the ground and were circled by white chalk, to symbolize the fallen old-growth giants.

The seniors said, after the recent old-growth deferral announcements, the province is misleading people about the current state of logging in Vancouver Island forests.

“They’re not stopping any of the road building or old-growth logging in connected, intact forests just outside the basin of the Fairy Creek watershed,” Jackie Larkin, 76, said to the crowd. “It’s like they say ‘we’ll protect your heart but we’re going to cut off the rest of the body.’”

READ: B.C. approves deferral of old-growth logging at Fairy Creek, Walbran valleys

“This struggle is nowhere near over,” Larkin continued. “John Horgan has broken his election promise to implement his – his not ours – old-growth report in its totality.”

The older folks called on Horgan’s government to defer logging in 1.3 hectares of non-protected old growth forests that was identified by scientists last month.

Susan Gage, a week shy of 75, said her generation took the environment for granted, to the detriment of what will be left behind for her grandchildren.

“This happened on my watch, it’s my age group that’s largely responsible for this, the way we’ve carelessly destroyed so much of the Earth,” she said. “The least I can do is strive and struggle to conserve what is left for our grandchildren. I want to make sure they can go Fairy Creek and marvel at those huge, ancient trees.”

READ: Scientists release maps of B.C. old growth forests, urge province to stop cutting

READ: Vancouver Island First Nations declaration not enough for old-growth protesters

Gage said governments don’t like to change and only will if the public keeps the pressure on them.

The protesters want the B.C. government to also provide funding to Indigenous communities that would allow them to pursue other economic opportunities outside of logging.

“We want to respect (the Nations’) sovereignty, their rights to the land and their rights their livelihood,” said Steve Gray.

He said seniors are passionate about the forests, but aren’t able to be alongside protesters embedded in the Island’s blockades. As a father and grandfather, he’s concerned about the future.

“We look at the climate crisis and what’s going on and we really feel it’s our responsibility to be involved, not to leave it to (youth) to do the heavy lifting, considering it’s our generation that has delivered this world to them,” Gray said.

Belleville Street reopened around 2 p.m. after demonstrators had dispersed.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ: Behind the line at Fairy Creek: Inside B.C.’s old growth forest battleground


Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC legislatureFairy Creek watershedVictoria

Just Posted

Kurt Swanson’s dog Kona takes a break from the heat on the Summer Solstice near Cranbrook, B.C. (Kurt Swanson photo)
Very warm temperatures forecast across the Kootenays this weekend

Nelson, Castlegar forecast to hit 39, Cranbrook 37

With high temperatures forecasted for the week and into the next, Interior Health is offering some tips on how to keep yourself safe from heat-related illness. (Pixabay)
Interior Health offers safety tips as temperatures soar

‘Too much heat can be harmful to your health’

The view from the Eager Hill lookout in the Cranbrook Community Forest. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
New ‘Padawan’ trail at Eager Hill now open and ready for use

The 5km green flow trail is suitable for all ages

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city’s downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

Pictured is Mrs. O and her grade 4/5 class at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Cranbrook. Mrs. O challenged her class to read 36,000 pages in May and they far surpassed that goal. The students were then allowed to choose her fate. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
WATCH: St. Mary’s Catholic School grade 4/5 class wins reading challenge

Teacher lets students choose fate after reading over 47,000 pages in one month

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Most Read