June 29, 2018.
It brought tears to my eyes,the first time I saw a clear-cut of the magnificent gigantic trees that abound on the west coastal areas of British Columbia.
I felt like weeping.
This was on Salt Spring Island when activists were protesting the Texada company’s clear-cutting on the island that would have demolished one-tenth of the trees growing there if they had been left to go unchecked.
When activists decided to ‘plant’ crosses to represent the trees that would be killed, I got what they meant.
Clearly, I got what they meant.
Here is the article:
Gulf Islands Driftwood
Wednesday, January 19, 2000
Crosses honour Texada clear-cut trees
by Tanya Lester
About 50 Salt Spring Islanders each had one or two crosses to bear last Saturday in opposition to Texada clear-cut logging on Mount Tuam.
They were participating in a cross-planting ceremony held before the afternoon rally and street party at the Burgoyne Bay triangle.
As a sing held by organizer Devon Guest explained, one cross represented one truckload of trees.
The activists met in a circle near the Burgoyne Bay Road gazebo and then carried the crosses, made of recycled wood, onto Fulford-Ganges Road where they were hammered into the ground in recognition of the trees which have been clear-cut by Texada.
They faced Mount Tuam for a moment of silence and then Mount Maxwell with the hopeful intention that Texada will do clear-cut logging in that area. (Logging has been stalled by North Salt Spring Waterworks District officials’ concern about watershed interference if the area is clear-cut).
“We shall overcome some day,” the group sang as they moved back towards the Burgoyne Bay area which is expected to face chainsaws next. “Deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday.”
Salt Spring resident Patricia Brown participated in the campaign launch because she would like to see laws change concerning the removal of trees on private property.
“I don’t think people should be allowed to take trees down even if they own the land; they don’t own the trees,” Brown said.
In an interview with the Driftwood after the launch, Guest said the cross campaign is one of many initiatives concerning the clear-cutting.
“Unity does not mean mean conformity,” said Guest, quoting Indian mystic and revolutionary Sri Aurobido.
Guest acknowledges that the cross is a loaded symbol and that some Christians might find the campaign painful and offensive.
“Yes, it is offensive and painful for me too that trees are being mercilessly cut down,” she said. “It’s a personal reclamation for me in being able to use the symbol. A symbol of oppression can become a symbol of liberation.” As a performance artist and clown with 10 years experience in playback theatre, Guest is used to creatively responding to community events. “It is the marriage of the artist and the human, of passion and purpose,” she said.
Considering that most crosses were anonymously removed from the Fulford-Ganges Road site on Saturday evening and that verbal abuse was doled out by passersby prior to the campaign launch, Guest now believes a public forum is an important next step in the clear-cutting discussion.
This would bring together everyone, including the Texada owners, other land owners, Islands Trust representatives and environmentalists and, with everyone being offered a voice, could prevent negativity from “leaking out.”
Guest is against confrontational strategies by anyone involved. She said that once she decided to spearhead the cross campaign, people quickly came forward to help.
These included Murray Reiss, Gunther Sandl and Gina Horrocks, who helped gather scrap wood, purchased some timber from a sawmill and made the crosses.
Wildlife photographer Joanathan Grant, who suggested the cross campaign idea at a December public meeting on Texada logging , has been working with Guest to take photographs of the crosses in key areas that have been or will be affected by the clear-cutting on the island.
These photographs are being used in promotional materials directed at national media outlets and on the local activists’ website……
Guest also wants to encourage those opposed to Texada clear-cut logging near Horne Lake on Vancouver Island to participate in the cross campaign.
“We need to keep looking at new ways of doing things,” said Guest, who feels a non-confrontational approach to issues is dawning in the new millennium.
Anyone who has wood to recycle for crosses or wants to plant a cross in their yard can contact Guest…
She would also like to hear from anyone interested in a public forum.
To read more posts in this blog of varied writings on many subjects and in genres, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com
Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The first two books can be purchased from the author and from amazon.ca The third book ,Dreams and Tricksters, is in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All four titles are available in a variety of public libraries.
Tanya has now worked for over two decades as a psychic counsellor. She specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. To find out more, go to her web: teareading.wordpress.com and/or her pages on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Align. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text or call 250-538-0086 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org