RCMP make 27 more arrests at B.C. old-growth logging blockades

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PORT RENFREW, B.C. — RCMP enforcement of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against blockades set up to prevent old-growth logging on Vancouver Island continued this weekend.

The Mounties say they arrested 20 people on Friday, who were released in Lake Cowichan, while seven people arrested Saturday were released in Port Renfrew.

They say officers have made 989 arrests since enforcement began around the Fairy Creek watershed, including 110 people who have been arrested more than once.

They say police took one of the protesters to a waiting ambulance after the person fell down a ravine and injured their head around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday.

Later that day, police say they cleared people out of a few small camps.

They say enhanced evening patrols would continue on Sunday.

The B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations to temporarily defer old-growth logging across about 2,000 hectares in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas this summer, but the protests have continued.

Old-growth forests outside the deferred areas are still at risk of logging, members of the protest group dubbed the Rainforest Flying Squad have said.

Since May, the RCMP have been enforcing the court injunction granted to the Teal-Jones Group, the forestry company that holds the harvesting licence in the area.

The injunction is set to expire later this month and court hearings are scheduled in Nanaimo this week over an application by Teal-Jones for a year-long extension.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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