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

Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Caledonia Secondary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant to replace its aging science equipment. (File photo)
Cal snags major grant to modernize science equipment

The $50,000 comes from a pharmaceutical company

Unemployment rate drops in northwestern B.C.

Large improvement since Spring 2020

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)
Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Cassie Hall Elementary School students pose for a picture in their garden. Since 2019, students and staff at the school have been attending to the garden project. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
Cassie Hall students grow a green sanctuary at school

The K-6 elementary school students and staff have been working on the garden project since 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

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?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read