Peace Camps and Conflicting Stories on the West Coast of Canada

Peace Camps and Conflicting Stories on the West Coast of Canada: Eco/feminist Activism and an 'Ethics of Place' in Clayoquot Sound
Speaker: Dr Niamh Moore # University of Manchester
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Date and Time
6th Mar 2014 17:00 - 6th Mar 2014 18:30
Seminar Room 3, Chrystal Macmillan Building

In the summer of 1993, a local environmental group organised a peace camp to support the blockading of logging roads in Clayoquot Sound, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, as part of ongoing campaigning against clear-cut logging of temperate rainforest. The campaign by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound brought an unprecedented 12,000 people to the camp to participate in non-violent civil disobedience. By the end of the summer over 800 people had been arrested following blockades of a logging road into the rainforest. The protests brought international attention to the clear-cut logging of Canada’s temperate rainforest and had a profound impact on forest and environmental politics locally and nationally. The Clayoquot Peace Camp was said to be based on feminist principles and sometimes these were even explicitly articulated as eco/feminist principles, yet this dimension of the campaign has not always figured strongly in subsequent accounts of the campaign (Braun 2002, Magnusson and Shaw 2003). This paper explores how attention to the significance of eco/feminism is necessary to make sense of the rather different accounts of Clayoquot offered in Bruce Braun’s The Intemperate Rainforest and his call for a ‘radical postcolonial environmentalism’ and Magnusson and Shaw’s version of local and global in A Political Space: Reading the Global through Clayoquot Sound. Drawing on ecofeminist Val Plumwood’s account of ‘an ethics of place’, I put the entanglement of feminist and ecofeminist politics in the early 90s and since at the centre of my account of understanding the politics of Clayoquot Sound.