It was a nervous scene on a portion of the Victoria Road and the Trans-Canada Highway intersection Jan. 14, as old-growth logging protesters blocked the area.
Roughly 30 activists, most of whom were in their 20s, intermittently blocked the Trans-Canada Highway at the lights just past the Revelstoke Suspension Bridge.
The group was met with a mixed response. Some motorists honked their horns to show their support, while others shouted from their cars and threw snowballs.
One person even set off a flare gun while driving by the protesters.
The Revelstoke RCMP was notified of the event before it happened. The police put a stop to the protest before any arrests were made.
The activists held signs promoting their cause, including one sign that prompted people to call the ministry of forests with their frustrations.
According to one activist, they were standing in solidarity with the Save Old Growth movement, and plan to continue these actions until their demands are met.
The activist said the group is at a point where protests, rallies and petitions aren’t working, so they’ve turned to civil disobedience in order to get their point across.
They added the protests are not anti-logging or anti-jobs, they only hope to protect the province’s old-growth forests and ecosystems.
This protest was associated with Extinction Rebellion protesters who have pledged to disrupt traffic on the Trans -Canada Highway in B.C. starting Jan. 10.
“We are declaring the Trans-Canada Highway a site of permanent nonviolent civil resistance. January 10 onwards, the tactics will escalate in their frequency and extent if the government delays action,” said Zain Haq, a spokesperson and organizer for the province-wide campaign, and a student at Simon Fraser University.
Haq is also the national action and strategy coordinator for Extinction Rebellion, a group which has previously blocked intersections in Vancouver and other cities, and most recently blocked the access road to Vancouver International Airport.
The Revelstoke RCMP watched as the protesters left the scene to ward off any retaliation from the roughly seven angry onlookers across the street, one of which was already shouting and throwing snowballs.
The Revelstoke Review contacted the ministry of forests for a comment about the protest but there was no response prior to our press deadline.