Blue Line

B.C. RCMP say activists used garbage, vehicles and trenches to prevent access

August 11, 2021  By Canadian Press

Aug. 11, 2021 – Nearly two dozen protesters have been arrested in the Granite Mainline Forest Service Road area, as RCMP enforced a BC Supreme Court injunction against blockades set up to prevent old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island.

Police say the suspects linked arms and sat across the road and also used vehicles, piles of garbage and several deep trenches to prevent or delay access to the area.

A total of 23 people were arrested, four of whom were removed from under a vehicle they had attached themselves to earlier in the day.

In a statement, Chief Superintendent John Brewer, Gold Commander of the Community-Industry Response Group, called the protesters’ tactics “appalling.”

He says for people who claim to be stewards of the land, the protesters have created severe environmental damage to the grounds which will take great efforts to clean up.

RCMP say since enforcement of the court injunction began in May, 579 people have been charged, at least 39 of whom were previously arrested.

In June, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations and deferred logging of about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.

The Rainforest Flying Squad say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C., and the deferrals fall short of protecting what’s left.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

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