On Burnaby Mountain, shades of Clayoquot Sound

Among the protesters on Burnaby Mountain today were some old hands in the environmental movement, and they liked what they saw.

“We’ve had 35 people arrested in the pouring rain in the last two days. And that’s just over survey work for a potential pipeline. If they’re crazy enough to actually build this pipeline, they’re going to see way bigger protests,” said Karen Mahon.

She would know. Mahon was a Greenpeace organizer during the battle of Clayoquot Sound, the defining environmental fight of the 1990’s in British Columbia.

READ MORE: Twenty years later, the “War in the Woods” still reverberates

Over 800 people were arrested during the summer of 1993, as protesters found to prevent logging in old-growth forests on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Support for the protesters resulted in plans for clearcutting being scrapped, replaced by ecologically sensitive work that continues to this day.

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WATCH: Archive footage of mass arrests at Clayoquot Sound

“I found the Clayoquot protests unbelievably empowering, because regular people were standing up and putting their liberty on the line and saying enough is enough,” said Mahon.

Joining Mahon on Burnaby Mountain was Valerie Langer, another Clayoquot organizer.

“To my mind, there is this kind of feeling that we had back in the days of Clayoquot,” she said.

“That sense of tremendous frustration, that desire to express a hope for a more just and environmentally sound world. that sense of frustration, I feel that, and I haven’t felt it for 21 years.”

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