The anger and frustration hatefully unleashed by industry workers on Indigenous land defenders at the Walbran Watch camp last week, speaks directly to the urgent need for government to invest public funding towards a just transition strategy that supports workers and communities to get off old-growth logging.
That there was nothing in this years’s budget for government to deliver on the 14 recommendations they promised at election time to implement, is the political vacuum of inept leadership that allows for these violent incidents to happen.
The movement to protect the last stands of ancient forest – whether rooted in a struggle to end the legacy of colonial violence on Indigenous lands and people, or address the looming climate and biodiversity crisis – is not going away and Premier Horgan and his cabinet need to step up with more than policing, to avert further dangerous scenarios from unfolding on the frontline of this struggle. For government to stand by and watch this crisis degenerate to the level of dangerous confrontation amongst citizens and vigilante violence on Indigenous youth, is just plain irresponsible.
We need a political solution now. It is not OK to let vulnerable youth be subjected to violence for defending the ecological integrity of the natural world that sustains us all.
Horgan, step up or step down.