Arrests continue to mount despite paused old growth logging on southern Vancouver Island

Number of arrests approach 200 in Fairy Creek protests as activists complain about RCMP tactics

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)

The RCMP have responded to accusations that they used unneccesary tactics in making arrests at old-growth logging blockades in the Fairy Creek area on Monday and Tuesday.

Protests and arrests have continued this week despite a two-year deferral on old-growth logging in Vancouver Island’s Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas announced by the provincial government in response to a declaration put forth over the weekend by three southwestern Vancouver Island First Nations.

The RCMP arrested 12 people on Monday, eight on Tuesday, and four on Wednesday, bringing the total number of arrests to 198 since enforcement began on May 17. At least 10 people have been arrested more than once.

The Rainforest Flying Squad, which is coordinating the protests, expressed concerns about some the arrests on Monday and Tuesday on the Fairy Creek Blockade Facebook page

According to the RFS, the first protester arrested was part of a group carrying supplies to Hayhaka Camp on the Braden Main Forestry Road. Police later made seven arrests at the camp, including two senior women, one of which was using a walker. Three of the people arrested were chained to the ground in “sleeping dragon” devices, one was chained to a tripod, and another was chained to the top of the tripod.

The RFS reported that the RCMP used an excavator to extract the protesters in the sleeping dragons.

“There are other safer methods they could employ, but they choose the intimidation of large machinery,” the Facebook report said.

There were also concerns about the arrest of the woman atop the tripod. She had attached her chains around her groin, and asked for a female officer to remove them, but her requests were allegedly denied.

The police responded that they are taking necessary precautions to keep all members of the public safe.

“Generally, the operation on June 7 and 8 to remove those using locking devices to block access was slow, methodical and completed by specially trained teams who took necessary safety precautions,” the RCMP said in a statement to Black Press Media. “The interaction between police and those arrested was observed by independent media, legal observers and protestors in close proximity. Much, if not all of this was captured on video. We are unaware of any complaints or injuries regarding the work done over these two days.

“Safety and respectful treatment of all persons is important to maintaining public confidence in this challenging operation. We will review the concerns contained in the post to ensure that we have benefit of the available evidence.”

The RFS also reported that the RCMP had bulldozed the Hayhaka Camp on Tuesday, but the police said that was a decision made by the logging company.

“The use of equipment to remove obstacles in the direction of [the camp] by Teal-Cedar Products Ltd. and not the RCMP.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ MORE: Behind the line at Fairy Creek: Inside B.C.’s old growth forest battleground

READ MORE: Vancouver Island First Nations declaration not enough for old-growth protesters

Fairy Creek watershedforestryIndigenousprotest

Just Posted

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read