Capital Daily

Violence At Fairy Creek

Episode Summary

Tensions between protesters and RCMP at the Fairy Creek blockades have reached new heights. Video footage of police officers discharging pepper spray into a crowd of protesters sparked a wave of protests at RCMP detachments across the Island. We hear from land defenders and the RCMP about the incidents, and speak with Green MLA Sonia Furstenau about what the province could do to change the course, and the arena, of this fight.

Episode Notes

Tensions between protesters and RCMP at the Fairy Creek blockades have reached new heights. Video footage of police officers discharging pepper spray into a crowd of protesters sparked a wave of protests at RCMP detachments across the Island. We hear from land defenders and the RCMP about the incidents, and speak with Green MLA Sonia Furstenau about what the province could do to change the course, and the arena, of this fight.  

Get more stories like this in your inbox every morning by subscribing to our daily newsletter at 

Check our membership opportunity at

And subscribe to us on our socials! 

Twitter @CapitalDailyVic  

Instagram @CapitalDaily  

Facebook @CapitalDailyVic

Episode Transcription

Disclaimer: These interviews have been edited for clarity and length. 

Jackie: Hi, my name is Jackie Lamport. Today is Tuesday, August 24. Welcome to the Capital Daily Podcast. Today on the show yesterday, people across the province met at various RCMP buildings to protest the escalating violence at the Fairy Creek blockades. Today, we learn more about what's happening, why it's happening, and zoom out on the issue to find out what can be done to stop it.

Despite being ongoing for over a year, the protests at Fairy Creek have not ended and don't show any signs of doing so. RCMP have been playing an active role in enforcing an injunction from Teal-Jones Group since May. In that time, the arrests have climbed to well over 700. And that number continues to grow rapidly, even faster in recent weeks. It's been months of normal status quo where protesters were arrested, released, returned to camp, or reclaimed the camps that they lost to RCMP rates. Now that status quo is beginning to become more violent. Allegations of police brutality have been present since near the beginning of enforcement, but they've been spiking in recent weeks. After some recent videos, in particular, the Federal NDP party is calling on an investigation into the RCMP.

What you're hearing is a group of about 60 protesters huddled together as RCMP gathers close and sprayed pepper spray at what appears to be random into the crowd. Lawyers representing protesters released a statement Monday saying the level of brutality has exceeded both its authority, legal or moral and beyond the scope of what is required to fulfill operational requirements. The RCMP has already been taken to court, as you may remember by the media, after an illegal exclusion zone was being enforced, blocking journalists from covering the arrest inside the zone. In that case, the courts ruled in favour of journalists. Capitol Daily was involved in that case as two of our journalists were subjected to illegal enforcement to protest the increasing allegations of RCMP violence. Protestors across the province met at various RCMP buildings. Our Co-Producer Emily Vance went to the one in Victoria and spoke to some of the people there to hear their side of what's going on at camp. After that, we'll also hear from RCMP about their perspective on the ongoing escalation in violence. Then, we'll zoom out completely, and we'll hear from Sonia Furstenau, the BC NDP Green Party Leader. But first, Emily Vance. Emily, hi. 

Emily: Hello, Jackie 

Jackie: So you spent the afternoon portion of your day outside the RCMP office in Victoria. What was that like?

Emily: Yes, I did. Well, when I arrived there, you could hear honking and cheering from a couple of blocks over, so I knew right away it was going to be a busy one. There were protests planned outside, RCMP detachments for quite a lot of South BC. So I went to the one in Victoria, there were probably 200 people, lots of people with signs. Lots of people with signs referencing pepper spraying, in particular, allows a lot of people that were, I think really, jarred by the video and the footage coming out of Fairy Creek this past weekend. When I arrived, there were people that were scattered all up and down the highway. There were long lines, people waving signs, and lots of cars honking their support, and I found an area where people spoke. Right away, a woman was speaking named Kim Murray, and she had just returned from the front lines, and she was here to motivate the crowd and share some of her experience. 

Kim Murray (audio recording): It's more than time for police reform. It's more than time for the RCMP to be put on notice. You are officially on notice. We are not stopping these actions against your police brutality and your abuse of authority. Not anytime soon. Not anytime soon enough is enough. We are standing up for the RCMP to stand down. They are breaking the law. They are floating the Supreme Court. So, therefore, we are taking their advice. We're bringing it to their front doors. 

Jackie: Between the two of us, we've been to quite a lot of these protests. Would you say that this one was any different or more unique than the others you've been to?

Emily: I know, it's hard to tell just from looking at people, but it seemed like there was a fresh wave of anger from the recent RCMP arrests and actions. People were quite animated and quite motivated in Victoria. It was one of the bigger protests that I've seen for sure.

Jackie: You told me and going down there that you wanted to speak to some new voices that we hadn't heard from before. So you poked around. You met some people. Who did you speak to first? 

Emily: I just asked around when I got there. I ended up speaking with two people who have been in and out of Camp Land Back, which is an Indigenous-focused and led camp up at Fairy Creek. So first off, I spoke with Sylvia Williams. She's a Haida woman, and we spoke a little bit about why she had headed up to the blockades and what her experience was like there. I really wanted to know from somebody who had been in and out of the blockades consistently and on the protester side, exactly how RCMP enforcement had changed if it had changed if the tone had changed, because what we're seeing online and through other reports is that the level of aggression has been stepped up. 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): My name is Sylvia Williams and I'm from the Haida Nation. 

Emily (audio recording): How long have you been up at the Fairy Creek blockades? 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): I've only been able to go up there probably about seven times. We go up on weekends to sing our hardest songs to give the land protectors some strength with our Haida songs and stand beside Bill (Bill Jones) as Bill has been asking for the Haida Gwaii sisters to slide to protect him and give them strength. 

Emily (audio recording): Since you've been up there several times. Have you noticed a change in the way that RCMP are interacting with land defenders?

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): I've seen a lot of change from the first day I went up. The camps were so peaceful; everyone was so welcoming. This past weekend has been the worst I've ever seen where the RCMP are macing peaceful land protectors that are just standing there and bashing young people's heads off of the tractors they have there. So there's been a lot of change and a dramatic change due to the RCMP and the government. 

Emily (audio recording): Were you there this past weekend when RCMP was spraying pepper spray on that crowd of protesters? 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): I wasn't at the actual site, but at another camp and once we got word, me and my sister jumped in our vehicles and went and started singing our songs. And the greatest feeling in the world is that the RCMP backs down soon as they hear my sister and me coming. Our songs and the way we sing are very powerful and loud. I'm pretty sure it kind of scares them. 

Emily (audio recording): What is it like when the enforcement is going on, and it's that violent? 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): Part of it's scary, but at the same time, when you know that everything's going to go and come out on the good come for us on the land protector side. When you see your new family members being manhandled and thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed and it hurts a lot. That's what we sing our hardest songs for to give everyone strength to get back up on their feet and grow themself and know what they're there for. And not to let these RCMP and green men and the government make them back down. We give them the strength to keep going. 

Emily (audio recording): Why are you here today at this protest by the RCMP headquarters in Victoria? 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): I'm here to try and put a stop to how the RCMP and agreement and government are treating the peaceful protesters that are out there to try and protect the old growth. And to show my support for my new family that I have gained in the last seven times I've been up there.   

Emily (audio recording): What do you want people to know who haven't been following this movement?

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): Well, besides the violence that the RCMP is doing, this camp is very, very peaceful. When you walk in, even though they're going through so much right now, they still welcome you with open arms, open hearts, with a smile on their face, even though they're going through a hard time. 

Emily (audio recording): How do you want this to end? 

Sylvia Williams (audio recording): How do I want this to end? I want it to end where Bill can go on his territory and land and not ask permission from the government or the RCMP. And for us to have celebrations there at any time we want and for it to come out on our side. We're going to win. 

Jackie: You also spoke to another person from Camp Land Back.

Emily: Yeah, I spoke with a man named Dawn, and he had been camping at Camp Land Back for about two and a half months. I also spoke with him about similar topics and his interactions with RCMP overall and what those have been like. He had taken some time off in the past two weeks, just because the experience was incredibly overwhelming, but he also had some interesting insights to share. 

Dawn (audio recording): My name is Dawn Autumn Thunderbird, otherwise known as Totem. I've been at Fairy Creek for about two and a half months, mostly up the river at Camp Land Back, and I was there when they raided the HQ. 

Emily (audio recording): The way that the RCMP has been treating you and other land defenders. Has it changed over time? 

Dawn (audio recording): Well, when I got there, as I said, I was there when they first came through the gates, and I was up on a tripod, blocking them from coming into HQ. From what I had seen, it started out with them just escorting the police escorting people out kind of gently. And then through the next day or two, it progressed and to people being overpowered by multiple police officers, and it was like no need for it. And it was women that I saw getting dragged to the dirt.  

That, for me, was hard because some of those people are my close friends and family. So to be up there and feel helpless and not be able to help them was hard. I said I've been away for over a week now. Maybe almost two weeks, because I injured myself. So I've just from what I've seen on the footage, and how it's escalating is really heartbreaking. 

Emily (audio recording): What motivates you to go up and defend these forests? 

Dawn (audio recording): Well, from my own standpoint of being Cree, I'm not from these lands, but my brothers and sisters are from here, and from the nations on Vancouver Island, and I want to stand with my people, whether it's at home and Saskatchewan or Alberta, the United States, or my brothers and sisters down there like everyone having their own issues or with land and resources and extraction. So wherever I can be like, I want to be there because there's not going to be any room for my children to breathe or to have their children live in this world. So I think it's such a greedy state of mind that people just want to satiate their desires for this one life and not even think about the children's future. S

So I have four daughters and one son. To me, that's like, that's for matriarchs and for grandmothers soon to be, so I want to have something for them to be here for and to live on. I hope there's an awakening with even the police, some of them like they feel stuck and a part of this machine. I think, everybody and all friends, to get out of that mentality that they're stuck because we can stand together, we can make a choice to make a difference in this world. It's definitely not by just following orders and following pack mentality. So get the courage, gain the courage and stand and break free from this, this ugly machine. 

Emily (audio recording): When I see the RCMP in the videos, some look scared. What have been your interactions with RCMP at the blockades, specifically? 

Dawn (audio recording): Well, I've encountered the green men and the arresting officers. And I see like, there's probably maybe two out of 10 that I've seen in those groups that look like they're, they don't want to be there from my distance from my point of view, especially being up on a tripod, like, I can see everything up there. I can see our people and then the morale going down and up in and same with the police officers, the look on their faces when things are getting intense. Some of them don't look like they want to be there. Some of them look like they actually care and maybe have children that have different points of view as them, and I don't know, some of them look like they're compassionate, some of them look like they're enjoying themselves, and that they hate what's going on, but I don't know. Some people look like they're enjoying themselves and then having a blast while they're hurting people and causing damage. The support of these loggers and that company, it's like, you can see it as evidence that they're just their goons or hired mercenaries. 

Emily (audio recording): What kind of aggressive action Have you seen on behalf of the RCMP? 

Dawn (audio recording): Oh, I've seen two to three people being pinned down by multiple RCMP officers with pretty excessive force, with knees and elbows and their arms being bent back and also being dragged through the gravel. That's probably the extent that I've seen personally. But I see people being distracted all day. Some were pretty gentle, but others we couldn't see because the cars were blocking, and we could hear the screams. That was bone-chilling to me and traumatizing to see. I'm just really overwhelmed. I feel that I tried to have time to heal, but I also have this urgency to go back and be there in any way that I can. I want to thank everybody that is stepping up and coming forward to help. Bless you all and thank you as well. 

Jackie: Emily, thank you again for making the trip into town because I cannot because I live in Langford.

Emily: Yeah. That's all I can see on my social media, and I have friends from out of town constantly asking me what's going on. So I'm glad we're there. I'm glad we're tuned in.

Jackie: As I said earlier, we also wanted to hear from the RCMP about their interpretation of the ongoing alleged violence as well as the pepper spray incident. To hear that, we're joined by Sergeant Chris Manzo. Chris, welcome to the show. 

Sergeant Manzo: Hello.

Jackie: Can you first just explain from the RCMP side of you what's currently going on right now?  

Sergeant Manseau: The RCMP continues to enforce this supreme court injunction that came through in early April of this year. And we started the enforcement in the middle of May. Prior to that, there were six weeks of discussion with protesters, and local industry and the First Nations banned in the area and to avoid any type of confrontation. However, the protesters decided that they wanted them to bury themselves in and remain in that area, and industry was not able to continue with their work. So the RCMP showed up and started the enforcement, which has led to the arrest of 700 people.

Jackie: Okay, now there are more reports of violence and videos of violence coming out in the past couple of weeks. Why would you say that is? 

Sergeant Manseau: Well, since the beginning, the protesters' actions have dictated the actions of the police. I know I've had many questions about the number of arrests now. Over the last, say the last 10 to 15 days on the locations where the RCMP has been enforcing the injunction six weeks ago and didn't have many protesters in those areas. Those were very remote areas and mountains up logging trails where we've been enforcing the injunction recently, is that the larger camp so there have been more people there and more people leads to either more frustration on the part of the protesters or more arrests have happened since we've been working in those areas. 

As for an increase in violence, I don't see that. Again, we've had more than 700 people arrested. Very few injuries, if any. I think that the RCMP delegates excellent jobs with a slow, measured approach. We will continue to continue, either until the enforcement ends because the protesters are no longer obstructing industry or to the end of the injunction, which, unless extended, is at the end of September of this year. 

Jackie: Now, a video came out today that is causing a lot of controversy online, and that was pepper spray being used on a group of protesters? What would you say about that? 

Sergeant Manseau: The difficulty with showing a snippet of any video is that anything preceding that action is not seen or understood. I can tell you that just prior to the deployment of OC spray, a member was pushed, shoved, knocked down and struck their head and ended up becoming unconscious. They had to be airlifted out of the area. The direction was given to the Crown to follow police directions to move out of the way if they did not follow that direction, or pepper spray would be deployed. They followed the direction that members could be removed from that area. There is a video of that as well. I haven't seen it, but it's been reported to me by journalists from a very large media outlet. So I know that that's a legitimate thing. Again, the action of the protesters, once again in dictating the actions of the police.

Jackie: Just to get it clear, you're saying that there was an injury from the RCMP, and they were trying to airlift that person out so that the directive was to get out of the way or be pepper-sprayed?

Sergeant Manseau: Yeah, that's what I was being told is that the member was injured. The protesters still wouldn't follow police directions. A large group of them were sprayed, and then the other protesters did move out of the way and follow directions afterwards.  

Jackie: Do you know if that group was posing a danger to the person? 

Sergeant Manseau: That I don't know, I just know that they weren't following directions. And then pepper spray was used, and they didn't follow the direction of the other members of the team.

Jackie: What is the discretion for using that tactic?

Sergeant Manseau: When somebody who was injured on the ground changes the perspective of the members on the ground. Are they now fearful that they could be injured themselves? Is that crowd going to turn? That's up to the direction and decision-making of the members that are working there on the ground at the time. You can set rules and regulations as much as you want. However, the decision rests with that member that's there on the ground.  

Jackie: Lastly, there's one other thing I wanted to ask about in that there's a lot of clips showing officers wearing thin blue line patches. Do you have any comments on that? 

Sergeant Manseau: So regarding the thin blue line patches, there was a recommendation put out late last year by the Sergeant Major of the RCMP. It was not a directive, and it was not a rule. It's not something that the members had to follow. It was a recommendation. Those members that are wearing it that I've spoken to, again, the RCMP Union that we now have, have given directions saying that they will stand by members who wear that thin blue line patch. The commanding officer of the province at the time stated that no disciplinary action would come to any members who were wearing that thin blue line patch. 

Prior to no events of last year, that thin blue line patch was worn by many members. It was to represent supporting each other for either injuries, whether they be physical or mental, received on the job. It's not intended for any type of nefarious reason. Unfortunately, it's been turned into something that it wasn't originally designed for. It's become a bit of a political topic and one that people are trying to make a divisive one. However, we don't have I don't have anything else to say. Other than it's been those numbers that are seen wearing. It's been brought forward to the commanders further, further discretion. 

Jackie: But given that, I know you said that it's evolved into something it wasn't originally intended to be. If that's the case, if it has evolved into something that is quite political and can be offensive and in some situations in that situation where you are dealing with police, and protesters, is it appropriate to be wearing something like that? Or do you think that that could incite anger from the protesters? 

Sergeant Manseau: I hope not. Other than what I've said, I don't have anything else to say on the matter other than it's been brought to the attention of the commanders on the scene. And it's been supported by the RCMP union, who said that any members who would face any disciplinary action for wearing it would be supported. The commanding officer at the time stated that there would be no disciplinary action for members wearing it. 

Jackie: Sergeant, thank you so much for answering all my questions.  

Sergeant Manseau: Thank you. Have a great day, and please stay safe.

Jackie: So now you've heard from the protesters and from the RCMP, but this issue is bigger than the players on the field. This reflects on policy and leadership more than anything. So in this episode's final interview, we're joined by the BC Green Party Leader, Sonia Furstenau, to discuss exactly that. Sonia, welcome back. 

Sonia Furstenau: I'm glad to be here, Jackie.

Jackie: Overall, what do you think about what is going on with Fairy Creek right now? 

Sonia Furstenau: I've been thinking about this a lot, obviously, over the weekend and for weeks and months. But I think we need to unravel it a little bit and go back to last fall when John Horgan made a promise in the election that he would protect old-growth and that he would implement all of the recommendations of the old-growth review panel. And then you fast forward to the continued logging that's happening of old-growth in this province, and in particular, in the region around Fairy Creek. The injunction that Teal-Jones brought forward, the increasingly aggressive actions and behaviour of RCMP and the silence, largely of the provincial government as this unfolds. So it's really important, I think, to look at it from a bit more of a bird's eye view at this point. And to recognize, we didn't just get here in a week or a weekend, we got here, not only over the last several months, but, the conflict over logging practices, and in particular logging of old-growth in British Columbia, has been ongoing for decades. And what we have needed and have not had, is a provincial government with the vision and the courage to recognize that we can't keep doing this. We are down to the end. 

Jackie: This has been ongoing for over a year now, and they just hit their year anniversary of the blockades. Do you think there's anything that could have been done or any leadership that could have prevented the escalating violence we're currently seeing?  

Sonia Furstenau: This is something that Adam Olson and I have been pushing on in this legislature. Since December, when we were back for the first session and through the spring, the provincial government could absolutely provide solutions. They could provide solutions by not putting a benefits agreement in place, knowing that the conflict and the concern already existed. And that came into place in February, and they could provide solutions by putting other economic options on the table. 

As you know, we're seeing in the federal election, and there are financial things that you can put on the table to protect all growth in this province, to reorient the efforts of communities and logging companies so that we are getting different outcomes. One of the things that I've been thinking about a lot in the last few months is the conversation around clear-cut logging like our logging practices need to be different. They've needed to be different for decades. And that's not unconnected to the wildfires that we're seeing. I think what happens is, we get into these discussions, and we don't look at the way that things are connected. But what Fairy Creek really shows is, we've gotten to a place where all of these connections are now, resulting in a very significant and very worrying conflict that's happening on the ground. 

Jackie: There's now a video circulating of RCMP using pepper spray on protesters who were huddled together at camp. What do you think about this tactic? 

Sonia Furstenau: I'm very alarmed and concerned about this, and again, Adam Olson and I have been trying to get meetings with Minister Farnworth, the Solicitor General. I am trying to get meetings with the RCMP. And it's been very difficult for us to try to get answers to those requests. We are continuing to make those requests, and we will keep doing that. This kind of violence, particularly in light of the protections that we have in this country for civil disobedience and the very clear statements made by Justice Thompson in his reasons for not allowing these exclusion zones to be enforced the way they have been. In his comments said that this is unlawful behaviour. 

So when we have a public body that is meant to uphold the law, and we have a judge saying this is unlawful behaviour, all of us should be concerned. Most importantly, the government should be very worried and active in responding to that and making sure that that is not happening in British Columbia. The comment that I've made to Minister Farnworth and reiterated on Twitter this weekend was he needs to make a very clear statement as the Solicitor General around the expectations he has of all police in this province, that they are lawful, and that they are not engaging in these types of behaviours. 

Jackie: You say you're hoping for a response and getting some more on this. Today, the Federal NDP has called for an independent inquiry into the actions of the RCMP. Do you think that that will help the provincial NDP get on board? And maybe you can work on this together?  

Sonia Furstenau: I think at this point, again, what we need from the government is a clear articulation of what they expect from police and from RCMP. And that is that they are upholding the law. I expect there to be investigations, perhaps an inquiry into this, but at the moment that we're at the risk of people being injured or harmed, it is real. And I want to see the government do its job right now. 

Jackie: Right now, it seems that, especially in the media, the issue is playing out between the frontline RCMP officers and the frontline protesters, but that's not the whole issue. How far do you think we need to zoom out to make sure that we're protecting these people? 

Sonia Furstenau: The work of the police act review committee is important to work in this aspect. Of course, that's going to take a while. As we are having a reckoning around a lot of our history, and around colonization, residential school, schools, the harm to Indigenous peoples, that is a part of very much a part of our history in this country. The RCMP has played a role in that from the beginning. And I think that when we see images of young indigenous people being handled, the way they're being handled, we should recognize this in the context of a much larger issue in Canada. And that is the relationship between government RCMP and indigenous peoples. Again, that's a call to the government to step up and take its responsibility seriously. The NDP very much wanted this responsibility, and they went to an early election; they wanted a majority government. Now they have to bear the weight of that burden and be responsible in their governing. This is very much a real concern that I have is their silence and their unwillingness to speak up about, again, the rights of people and of Indigenous peoples and the actions that we're seeing. 

Jackie: Now, this is quite complex, as you just explained with the indigenous sovereignty and the representation of indigenous youth. It seems that a lot of the conversations between the provinces are with the First Nations communities councils. Do you think that we should be considering more of the wishes of the Indigenous people protesting as well? It seems like we're getting one point of view from a very diverse group instead of listening to all of the different viewpoints from the indigenous communities. Do you think that the government needs to do better at having those discussions in a different way?

Sonia Furstenau: What's interesting is that those nations that have come out and indicated that they indeed want a moratorium on all old-growth logging on their territory or not being accorded the same response from the government. And I think that that's important to note when it comes to the question around old-growth and logging in this province, logging practices, and the overlay of that with Indigenous sovereignty. These are not easy or simple issues to be parsing. But where we need to start from, at least in those discussions. And as you point out, those discussions can't just be with one select group is, with everything else that we're seeing with the IPCC telling us that it's a code red for humanity when we have biodiversity collapse, when we're at the third-worst fire season ever, and we're nowhere near the end of it. 

In British Columbia, there are considerations that governments have and have to take into account in a time like this that are significant. And the importance of intact ecosystems of intact ancient forests, of which there are very few left in this province. That has to be recognized as a consideration and all of this. 

Jackie: You mentioned the wildfires, and it's worth noting that the province is responding to a lot of crises right now there are the wildfires, there's COVID. There's the overdose crisis, which has been going on for over five years now. Now there are the events at Fairy Creek, which are becoming a larger and larger issue. Do you think there's enough room for the government to deal with all this?  

Sonia Furstenau: I think about this a lot, and how the crises are interacting with each other and making them worse, right? I've often talked about climate change as a chaos machine. It's not climate change. It's climate instability. It's not like we're going to get somewhere, and then we're in a stable place with climate; it's going to be changing up relentlessly. It might be droughts one year. It might be floods the next year, right? We don't know anymore. We don't have predictability. And the impacts of climate change, of course, are more significant for the people who have the fewest resources, right. So it has an unequal impact. And so, it is exacerbating inequality. It exacerbates the impacts on people who rely on hunting and fishing. We are talking about a large portion of the Indigenous population in BC. 

The toxic drug supply crisis, people aren't dying because they're taking too much of a drug; they're dying because they can take a very small amount, and it poisons them and it kills them. So what I have been calling for, and I will not stop calling for this, is we need our politics and our governance to rise to the level that is required of us with these interlaced overlapping and intersecting crises. And at every turn, we are saying to this government, work with other parties work across party lines, all three, because we need the political will, the political courage and the political consensus to make the much-needed decisions and policy changes and legislative changes that do require some courage. What you can achieve, with all parties cooperating, is far greater than what you can achieve when you're only playing in one camp at a time. 

I will continue to plead with this government to be collaborative and cooperative because the urgency of these crises needs us to be adults and grow up in our political decision-making. To say, of course, we will work together with our colleagues who represent, ultimately, all people in British Columbia. We are going to make these decisions together because that is what is required of us in times like this, and these crises are not going to go away. As we've seen in the last 18 months, we are not getting a break. It is one crisis, bleeds into the next, comes back, gets worse. One of the things that we've talked about a great deal in our caucus is that the mental health impacts from this require real political courage to say, and people will need more help. From my own point of view, I can say that the strain of this is enormous on all of us.

Jackie: Yeah, I don't think anybody can disagree with that. Sonia, thank you so much. 

Sonia Furstenau: Jackie, it's always a pleasure. 

Jackie: As always with the story, if you want to go back to the beginning, you can do so at Capitol We've actually compiled all of the different things that we've reported on since the beginning of the blockades at You can find that, or you can scroll through all of our podcasts, which goes right back to the first injunction hearing. You can find all of that at And if you want to help support Capital Daily's local journalism and connect your business with our engaged and curious Greater Victorian audience of over 50,000, email our partnerships team at 

Thanks so much for joining us today. If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating and a review and also subscribe so that you don't miss any episodes going forward. We post new shows every Monday to Friday. My name is Jackie Lamport. This is the Capital Daily Podcast. We'll talk to you tomorrow.