Clayoquot and Dissent


219 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 0-921870-29-9
DDC 971.1'2





Illustrations by Marguerite Gibbons
Reviewed by Anthony G. Gulig

Anthony G. Gulig teaches history at the University of Saskatchewan.


At the title states, this volume represents the dissenting side of the
Clayoquot Sound logging debate. The authors discuss the serious problems
of environmentally harmful logging practices as well as the many related
political, economic, and moral issues. Perhaps the most interesting
essay is Ronald B. Hatch’s “The Clayoquot Show Trials.” Through
his insightful analysis, Hatch displays the extent to which the courts
and government were the “handmaidens of the transnational logging
companies.” Those dissenters arrested for disobeying a court order
were given group trials and then sentenced accordingly. Hatch argues
that the public trials were not intended to provide the swift
administration of justice, but rather to “show” the public what
happens to dissenters in an effort to dissuade others from following the
lead of the early Clayoquot demonstrators.

The treatment of the demonstrators, almost as much as the treatment of
the environment, indicates the extent to which government and big
business have acted in their own best interests, regardless of the
environmental consequences. In spite of all the disturbing stories,
however, this compilation still provides a glimmer of hope—as
evidenced by the number of people around the world who continue to speak
out against the logging of Clayoquot Sound. The essays are carefully
researched (usually through experience) and carefully written, and the
collection provides a good starting place for anyone interested in the
dynamics of environmental activism in North America.


Berman, Tzeporah, et al., “Clayoquot and Dissent,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 13, 2024,