From the Victoria Times-Colonist, November 28, 2000


Woman arrested for chaining incident

Louise Dickson
Times Colonist staff

A woman shackled herself under a logging truck in the middle of Ganges on Saltspring Island for six hours Monday to protest logging by the Texada Land Corporation.

The woman crawled under two sets of drive wheels at the back of a logging tractor and clipped her hands inside a four-inch piece of steel pipe about I I a.m. She was supported by hundreds of Island residents who stopped a Dorman logging truck to protest the clearcutting of trees near a Garry Oak ecological reserve on Mount Maxwell.

J. Alwyn Catchpole of Saltspring Island was arrested for contempt of court and was released from custody to appear in the Supreme Court in Victoria on Dec. 13. Five other persons are under investigation for intimidation, a charge under the criminal code for obstructing a roadway.

Five members of the Ganges RCMP and 11 members of the West Shore RCMP tactical team were called out to keep an eye on the protest, which disrupted traffic in the Island's main community. The officers called in have training in handling situations of civil disobedience. A police dog and handler were also on the scene.

No cars were able to go through the main part of town. The area was also taped off with crime scene tape. 'Things were starting to get ugly," said one resident, who did not give his name. About 5 p.m., Aylwen came out from under the truck. The RCMP said that a welder was used to remove the locking device.

Ganges RCMP said a 44-year-old woman had been taken i nto custody. It is not yet
known what charges she will face.

Protester Terry Bieman, a member of the Save Saltspring campaign, said police had put a cordon around Aylwen to prevent her supporters from feeding her or giving her hot drinks to keep herself warm.

Aylwen, one of the Saltspring women who posed in the nude for a calendar to raise funds for the campaign to stop the logging, was wearing extra warm polar fleece and lay on top of a blue foamy under the truck. Aylwen chose to protest on Election Day because politicians had not addressed environmental concerns, said Bieman.

"This is her way of saying ‘Phooey to your elections. You're not listening.’"

Many residents of Saltspring are incensed that the logging company is taking down the trees in the buffer zone of the Garry Oak meadow and driving them through the village. "They've elearcut right up to the edge of the meadow and this will allow invasive plants like Scotch broom and blackberries to take over," said Biernan.

Click HERE to see photos from the Ganges blockade