In 1993, the 'Clayoquot Land Use Decision' was made by the British Columbia provincial government to permit the logging of the majority of the remaining old growth forest in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island. Protestors engaged in a massive campaign of peaceful civil disobedience, including blocking access to logging sites, which resulted in over 850 arrests. Most of these people were sentenced for criminal contempt of court, a serious charge which meant that they got a criminal record. Many claim this was one of the blackest periods in modern Canadian justice.
I was there during this memorable "Summer of '93". It has been a formative experience in my life, seeing a grassroots community emerge of people from all walks of life, professions, and political views, together effectively fighting an unjust decision despite all the differences and strong opposition. The incredible "sense of community" I experienced then has inspired me ever since and has made me go into the field of community informatics.
While there, I took photos of what was happening. They paint a dramatic picture of community activism in the making, which may inspire other communities struggling to - peacefully - change policies they think ought to be changed. So far, these pictures have been gathering dust in a photo album. However, I finally found the time to digitize them and put them on the Web, in the following categories:
2. Logging Practices
3. Blockade (logging road)
4. Demonstrations (Victoria, provincial capital)
You can access the pictures in the following locations:
- As a Wikimedia Commons Gallery:
- As a Slide.Com slideshow
Besides being a source of inspiration, I consider these pictures a tribute to the people who had the courage to be arrested because of a societal cause they strongly believed in. Please distribute the links and pictures widely to whomever might benefit.
Clayoquot Sound (Wikipedia)
Friends of Clayoquot Sound
Clayoquot and Dissent, Ronsdale Press, Vancouver, 1994. ISBN 0-921870-29-9
MacIsaac, R. and Champagne, A. (eds.), Clayoquot Mass Trials - Defending the Rainforest, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, B.C., 1994. ISBN 0-86571-321-9