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Fundraiser for Fairy Creek 'land defenders' more than doubles goal

Supporters unable to attend the protests on Vancouver Island say they're donating funds in solidarity with those taking a stand against old-growth logging
Indigenous land defenders protest old-growth logging in Fairy Creek - Vancouver Island - BC
A online fundraiser in support of Indigenous protesters on Vancouver Island has raised more than $38,000 in under a week.
An online fundraiser in support of the many "Indigenous land defenders" protesting against old-growth logging on Vancouver Island has raised tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of days, more than doubling its initial goal of $15,000. 

As of early Saturday evening, the GoFundMe campaign titled "Support For Indigenous Land Defenders -Fairy Creek" had raised more than $38,000 from more than 640 donors. 

The fundraiser was launched six days ago at the request of Aya Clappis/Ć›apisim, who's been actively protesting at the Fairy Creek Blockade camps near Port Renfrew, according to campaign organizer Alex Hughes. 

All of the funds raised will support Indigenous communities' and individual's "participation in frontline work, as well as aftercare, and healing from colonial violence," according to the campaign's description. That could include paying for materials necessary to participate in the social action, like gas or gear, for cultural projects, or for activities like therapy or trauma work. "This is based in mutual trust, and love - and will largely operate on a no-questions-asked basis," Hughes added. 

Several campaign contributors took to the comment section to share that because they're unable to attend the protests on Vancouver Island, they're instead donating funds to support those taking a stand against old-growth logging from afar. "I can’t be there in person but I support all that are willing to put themselves on the front line of this need for change," wrote one donor. 

One cost the funds will not be covering is legal aid for protestors. According to the campaign organizer, legal aid donations and requests for support are instead being funnelled through Instagram accounts @fairycreekblockade and @rainforestflyingsquad.

As of Friday, May 28, RCMP officers have arrested 137 people since enforcement of the court injunction began last week to allow workers with the Teal-Jones Group to resume logging in the area surrounding the Fairy Creek watershed, according to police. 

Activists say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact old-growth valley on southern Vancouver Island. 

Teal-Jones has said it plans to harvest about 20 hectares at the north ridge of the 1,200-hectare watershed out of 200 available for harvest. 

- With files from the Canadian Press