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Clayoquot Sound

Irina Ceric

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Northern America » Canada

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics civil rights, ecology, rebellion, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00364.x


In the summer of 1993, Clayoquot Sound, a mostly wilderness area of ancient temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (BC), became the site of the largest civil disobedience campaign in Canadian history. Almost 900 people were arrested during four months of protests over the fate of Clayoquot Sound's rare ecology, resulting in a series of mass trials unique in Canadian law ( Hatch 1994 ). Although there had been intermittent protests over logging and other resource development in the area for over two decades, particularly by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation and local environmentalists, a decision by the government of BC in April 1993 to allow clearcut logging in 62 percent of Clayoquot Sound catalyzed the rapid emergence of a preservation movement with both domestic and international dimensions. The local protests were centered on the Clayoquot Peace Camp set up by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound on Canada Day, July 1, 1993, and eventually visited by over 12,000 people ( Berman 1994 ). Operating on the basis of a Peaceful Direct Action Code predicated on Gandhian principles of non-violence and further influenced by emerging eco-feminist thought, the peace camp was the organizing site for the blockades which formed the centerpiece of the civil disobedience campaign. Beginning in early July, hundreds of people physically blocked road access to logging trucks in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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