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

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

Dawn Low worked for the City of Revelstoke for 22 years. She became CAO for our community in 2019 and held the position until May, 2021.
Revelstoke’s Dawn Low hired as CAO for Armstrong

Dawn Low was the CAO in Revelstoke until end of May

The Five-Cairn Trail is roughly 25 km long and traverses between two icefields. A friend and I hiked it in 2009. (Liam Harrap)
Liam’s Lowdown: That time I got rescued in Iceland

Sometimes we need to call for help and thank goodness it comes

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden schedules Okanagan stop on 2022 Canada-wide tour

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Burned-out bathroom could cost Vernon $25K

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Most Read