A large meeting at UVic on Monday was brimming with creative energy and enthusiasm for the campaign to stop destructive urban sprawl and the Bear Mountain development/interchange. Clearly, the time of uncontested big development at the expense of our local native ecosystems, is over. With diligence and persistance the will of caring, compassionate citizens can prevail. Two actions are flowing out of this meeting...
1. Direct Action on Friday, February 29th, 7 am.
Meet at Shell Station at Spencer Road and Trans-Canada Highway
Spaet (Skirt) Mountain defenders are meeting at the Shell Station and will proceed to the site of the interchange where work crews are currently yarding and loading fresh cut trees onto trucks.
There are many opportunities to stop work, slow the process of ecological destruction and galvanize more opposition to this hideous development. Please remember that everyone is responsible for their own actions and that we are exercising our civic duty to defend the natural landscape from needless destruction of habitat, watercourses and biodiversity, putting the planet before mega-profits.
We are all free to add creative twists, keeping in mind how they impact the larger campaign and making sure they reflect the commitment to the non-violence code. As well, there are numerous capacities in which people can participate in action, many of which do not involve risking arrest.
-Calling to contacts in town
-holding signs for passing traffic
-taking video footage
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need (or can offer) a ride to Friday's action.
Please include a telephone number where you can be reached.
2. Community Hike up Spaet (Skirt) Mountain
Saturday, March 1st, 12 Noon
Meet at Shell Station at Trans-Canada Highway and Spencer Rd
Join this community hike up Spaet Mountain, to view the magnificent wild places: oak meadows, bogs, streams and productive Douglas fir and arbutus forests threatened by the mountain-top removal madness of the Bear Mountain developers.
Bring good footwear, appropriate clothing and raingear, lunch, water, a camera, and friends.
3. Garry Oak Tree Defenders Arrested
Tree-sitters and other protestors arrived at the Oak grove in front of Florence Lake this morning to find a work crew cutting the limbs off a mature Garry oak tree in the widening of the highway at the proposed on-ramp to the interchange. Two people were arrested while defending the tree. They succeeded in stopping further cutting. One arrestee was released on condition of staying out of the designated red zone and the other is still in jail, choosing to not co-operate, sign release forms or identify himself. By-law officers returned later in the day and confiscated a large banner and ordered the protestors to leave the site, claiming that the police would return in 45 minutes to make arrests. Refusing to be intimidated many of us regrouped on the shoulder of the highway which is public land and upheld our constitutional right to protest and were ready to go to jail for our rights. The police never showed and the Garry oak tree is still alive as of tonight [Tuesday, Feb 26].
~ Hundred Voices of Conscience ~
A HUGE CONCRETE SCAR
Click on the image to view a larger version. The dotted lines show two additional ramps that are planned for the future. The new overpass is in the centre of the image, flanked by four new on and off ramps. The existing intersection at Spencer Road (right side) will be partly closed off and the traffic light removed. (A new traffic light will go in at the West Hills development two kilometers west.)