Tensions between Metro Vancouver commuters and old growth logging protesters came to a head Thursday (April 21) morning.
Video captured on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge shortly after 7 a.m., shows angry drivers dragging the protesters out of their way. It was the 10th blockade led by Save Old Growth on a Metro Vancouver highway in April so far.
The group has been conducting intermittent blockades in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Revelstoke since January, with the sole demand that B.C. stop logging old growth trees.
It’s said it knows its actions are frustrating for commuters, but believes creating noticeable disruptions is the only way to get the province to do something.
If Thursday morning’s clash is any indication though, drivers have had about enough.
Breaking - The Trans-Canada Highway has been blocked by Save Old Growth. People were violently attacked by angry commuters and stayed calm and nonviolent during the process. pic.twitter.com/WpY8eUrVXw— Save Old Growth (@saveoldgrowth) April 21, 2022
“I’ve got to get to work,” one commuter is heard saying in the video posted to Save Old Growth’s Twitter page.
“There are bigger issues here,” a protester replies.
Several men are seen grabbing the protesters by their shirts, safety vests and backpacks and dragging them across the pavement. The protesters don’t fight back in the video, but get up and return to their blockade positions.
Towards the end, one driver is heard saying, “Bro, you want to die bro?”
A protester replies, “We’re all going to die if we don’t do something.”
Police officers enter the frame soon after and the video ends.
The Vancouver Police Department says there were six protesters present. It arrested one 24-year-old woman on charges of mischief and intimidating someone on a roadway.
VPD says the protesters disrupted morning traffic and caused a minor car collision with their blockade.
Across the province, 84 Save Old Growth members have been arrested since January. Two members have been on hunger strikes since the start of April.