Three arrested as RCMP enforce Fairy Creek Watershed injunction

Three arrested as RCMP enforce Fairy Creek Watershed injunction
Ken Mizokoshi/CBC
Anti-logging protesters at Fairy Creek pictured on Sept. 29, 2021.

RCMP say three people have been arrested for breaching the Fairy Creek Watershed injunction on Tuesday.

Police announced plans to restart enforcing the injunction after the company made complaints about protesters in the area.

Around 9 a.m., police say officers spoke with the protesters to inform them that enforcement would begin. Several people refused to leave, so three people were arrested.

Police allege that one officer was assaulted by a suspect who then fled into the woods.

A report is being forwarded to Crown counsel to consider charges.

Old-growth logging protesters returned to the Fairy Creek area, and set up a camp at the end of July, blocking the bridge over the Gordon River.

Soda Liptrott, Savage Patch blockade participant, told CHEK News on Aug. 6 that despite the provincial government’s work on short-term deferrals of logging activity within 2.6 million hectares of B.C.’s most at-risk old-growth forests, there are still ancient trees falling that need to be protected.

“We’re still seeing around the Island and around the province our most biodiverse, climate resilient forests falling daily,” Liptrott explained on Aug. 6. “So we feel it’s critical to be out there for all the biodiversity, the Indigenous cultures that depend on these lands and have arisen on these lands.”

READ MORE: Old-growth protesters return to Fairy Creek area despite calls to leave

Now, RCMP are saying the company has made numerous complaints about people obstructing, impeding, and interfering with their ability to work in the area. In a release, RCMP say the company has requested enforcement of the injunction to be implemented.

Superintendent Ken Floyd, gold commander with the BC RCMP says the RCMP have “always ensured that individuals are able to exercise their rights to peacefully, safely and lawfully protest within the terms set by the court in the injunction.”

This comes days after charges against 146 Fairy Creek protesters were dropped after a judge found the RCMP officers read only a shortened version of an injunction to hundreds of protesters who were arrested at the Fairy Creek logging blockade on southern Vancouver Island.

Justice Douglas Thompson ruled that the shortened injunction did not include enough information for the protesters to know what order they were accused of breaking.

READ MORE FROM CBC: Cases dropped against 146 Fairy Creek protesters over RCMP’s failure to read full injunction at arrests

-With files from CHEK’s Mackenzie Read and CBC’s Rhianna Schmunk

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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