Voices of the Northwest
Saving Salt Springs Island:
Here is the real story you won't find in the newspapers:
Because people stood in front of logging trucks, chained themselves to logging trucks, locked themselves under logging trucks; and drew up business plans, and then new business plans every time the situation changed, which it did almost every other day.
Because people took off their clothes in forests and meadows, for calendars (see the now famous non-sexist non-exploitive, nude calendars) and websites, on horseback on Howe St and on the Net; and hauled food, meals, water and supplies in to the Peace Camp.
Because people got arrested, went to court, went to jail; and took out ads, wrote letters to the editor, articles, columns, editorials, some of which got some of them sued.
Because people chained themselves to heavy equipment, sat in platforms up in the trees, got assaulted; and flew airplanes over clearcuts taking pictures.
Because people fundraised nonstop for two solid years, including all the dreary drudgery of administration, calling on people they knew and people they didn't know, and governments and foundations; and blew the whistle on logging violations, crown land violations, and the violation and trashing of creeks and streams.
Because people lobbied the Princess, the German press, German Greenpeace; and applied for grants, created brochures, paid for maps.
Because big people and little people drew and painted wonderful pictures; and negotiated loans and financing with credit unions and banks.
Because people organized Town Hall meetings, attended Town Hall meetings, spoke at Town Hall meetings; and tramped all over the Texada lands monitoring and documenting the logging.
Because people donated money and donated money and donated money; and dug up embarrassing court cases and financial records.
Because people organized benefit concerts, performed at benefit concerts,attended benefit concerts; and drafted detailed persuasive proposals for federal and provincial parks.
Because people hired lawyers, sued the provincial government; and organized and staffed a fundraising and information office.
Because people spent hours and hours and hours writing letters; and made up T-shirts and bumper stickers and sold them everywhere they could.
Because people created, maintained and contributed to a website; and sampled water quality from creeks on the logged land.
Because people provided legal advice and defense for demonstrators and arrestees; and organized art shows,auctions, raffles.
Because people donated their talents as blacksmiths, mappers, economists, artists, ecologists, photographers, lawyers, facilitators, graphic designers, actors, rabble-rousers, foresters, witches, carpenters, gumboot dancers, musicians; and discovered talents they never knew they had.
Because people spent hours and hours and hours and hours at meetings; and led walks through the Texada ands.
Because people demonstrated at the Legislature in Victoria, Manulife's AGM in Toronto, Texada's office in Vancouver, did street theatre at Manulife functions in public squares; and talked to their children and friends and neighbours, and people they'd never talked to before in their lives about sustainable alternatives to clearcut logging.
Because people filmed it all and their films were shown on national television and at the trial; and spent hours and hours and hours sending e-mails.
Because people negotiated endlessly with Texada and every level of government; and looked after the young protestors long after the Peace Camp was dismantled.
Because people got in newspapers and magazines, on television and radio with a clear compelling message; and funded activities.
Because people spent hours and hours and hours on the phone with bureaucrats, conservation agencies, politicians; and surveyed, inventoried,assessed significant habitat.
Because people formed and sustained partnerships between the Land Conservancy, the CRD, the Nature Trust, the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, the Water Preservation Society, the North Salt Spring Water District, the Save Salt Spring Society; and took photos of clearcuts, streams, forests, bodies, people.
Because people came together to cry, laugh, pray for a solution; and didn't follow leaders.
Because people volunteered for all the countless thankless unseen tasks that go into making Town Hall meetings, benefit concerts, auctions, dances,lectures, art shows, demonstrations, happen; and organized petitions, e-mail blitzes, letter-writing campaigns.
Because people loved their island, their home, the land.
Because, most of all, we never gave up.