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Many Vancouver residents want old-growth logging stopped, but disagree with traffic-blocking protests: poll

Legitimate tactic or not the way to go about causing change? Here's what you thought.
Members of the group Save Old Growth set up a protest blocking the five westbound lanes of Grandview Highway at Boundary Road on the Burnaby-Vancouver border on April 18, 2022.

Members of the group Save Old Growth are in the midst of mounting a province-wide campaign aimed at raising public awareness and demanding government action on the matter of old-growth logging.

Their tactic: Block highways, intersections, off-ramps, and bridges in busy areas, predominantly in and around Metro Vancouver and Victoria. 

Launched in early 2022, Save Old Growth's highway blockades have focused on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1) and have resulted in not only several hours of major traffic delays during high-volume commuting hours but also numerous arrests of participating activists. 

Some protests have led to violent confrontations involving motorists, protesters, and police.

Save Old Growth says it will operate its "civil resistance campaign, disrupting the Trans-Canada Highway multiple times per week until [the B.C. government passes] legislative change to immediately end all old-growth logging."

But is disrupting traffic the best way possible for Save Old Growth to achieve its goals?

In a poll conducted on Vancouver Is Awesome, just over half of the local respondents indicated they agree with the sentiment of the protests but disagree blocking traffic is an appropriate action (52.85%). 

Just under a fifth of local respondents (19.6%) indicated they believe blocking traffic on highways and bridges is a legitimate tactic to draw attention to an important cause, while the remaining respondents (27.54%) said they did not agree with either the position or the tactic.

The group kicked off the week on Monday, April 25 by blocking lanes of Highway 1 westbound on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. One protester who glued themselves to the road was removed by police. 

Save Old Growth also has two of its high-profile members taking part in hunger strikes. The goal is to end the hunger strike when B.C.'s Minister of Forests Katrine Conroy agrees to host a public meeting on the protection of the last remaining old-growth forests in the province. Conroy spoke privately to the hunger strikers, Howard Breen of Nanaimo and Brent Eichler of Vancouver on April 22, but has not agreed to host a public forum or meeting about logging practices in B.C. The group is also urging supporters to sign hunger strike pledges in solidarity

Vancouver Is Awesome polled readers and asked the question: Should anti-logging protesters block highways and bridges to get their message heard?

The poll ran from 4/18/2022 to 4/24/2022. Of the 796 votes, we can determine that 403 are from within the community. The full results are as follows:

It is a legitimate tactic to draw attention to an important cause. 19.60 % local, 19.72 % total    
I agree we should stop old-growth logging but I do not agree with blocking highways or bridges. 52.85 % local, 48.12 % total    
I don't agree with their position or their tactics. 27.54 % local, 32.16 % total    
  Local   Total

Results are based on an online study of adult Vancouver Is Awesome readers that are located in Vancouver. The margin of error - which measures sample variability - is +/- 3.47%, 19 times out of 20.

Vancouver Is Awesome uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.