Clayoquot Mass Trials: Defending the Rainforest


208 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55092-253-X
DDC 971.1'2




Edited by Ron MacIsaac and Anne Champagne
Reviewed by Simon Dalby

Simon Dalby is an assistant professor of geography at Carleton
University in Ottawa.


In the summer of 1993, more than 900 people blockaded roads to the
Clayoquot region of Vancouver Island in order to stop the continued
logging of some of the last spectacular intact rainforest left in
Canada. Many of the protesters were arrested and subjected to mass
trials, which most viewed as a gross violation of their legal rights.
This book explains the context of MacMillan Bloedel’s clearcut logging
activities, and documents the personal statements and testimony of the
many peaceful protesters who tried to bring the environmental
destruction to an end. Much of the story is told directly in the
protesters’ words, interspersed with quotes from the trial and
newspaper coverage. The carefully selected and edited statements
effectively convey the clash between the protesters and a legal system
that could neither deal with their concerns nor cope with the numbers of
people arrested. The pictures accompanying the text, showing ordinary
citizens from all parts of Canada being arrested, shockingly emphasize
the government’s harsh response to the protest. This compelling book
not only records an important episode in Canada’s legal history, but
also makes a powerful statement about human rights and about changing
the way we view our resources.


“Clayoquot Mass Trials: Defending the Rainforest,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,