RCMP arrested nearly 30 old-growth logging protesters on Tuesday, the most since Mounties began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted to Teal-Jones.
It happened at around 8:30 a.m. when police came across a group blocking the Caycuse Main logging road.
Even though the protesters were outside the injunction area, officers say they were breaking the law.
“Everyone here is breaching the injunction so it has nothing to do with an exclusion zone. You’re breaching the injunction by blocking the road. [You are] not allowing the industry to go through,” says a uniformed member of the RCMP in a video supplied to CHEK News by Land Back.
The protesters said they believed they were outside the injunction area and the group includes some who weren’t planning or willing to be arrested today but that’s what’s happening.
“A large number of individuals protesting the logging of old-growth had blocked the road and weren’t allowing industry through. We’re now going through a slow and methodical process of effecting the arrest of those individuals,” said Sgt. Kris Clark with BC RCMP.
Tow trucks were called to remove the vehicles blocking the road.
“It’s very likely that today could be the most arrests so far,” said Clark.
The arrests come less than a week after RCMP officers arrested 25 people on Saturday after they reportedly crossed a blockade heading to the Fairy Creek watershed.
Xwis xwa caa, an Indigenous old-growth activist, was among those arrested Tuesday and was among those arrested last week. She says that while the Pachedaht First Nation’s elected council supports the old-growth logging, not all members agree, adding that the division within the nation stems from the colonial system.
“It’s a civil war. It’s a civil war funded by Canada. It’s a civil war funded by the British Crown and it’s a civil war that British Columbia is founded on because British Columbia couldn’t exist without all the stolen land.”
Meanwhile, Teal Jones Group started harvesting in the Caycuse region again on Friday and a company spokesperson says since then there’s no indication the protestors have slowed their harvesting plans.
On April 1, the B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction to Teal-Cedar Products following weeks of blockades by protests and activists, who want to stop the logging company from conducting old-growth logging in the area.