The RCMP Emergency Response Team arrested protesters who were in Rutherford Elementary School in Nanaimo Saturday, after the group occupied the empty building on Friday.
Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP says all protesters were removed and that they have recommended charges of break and enter and criminal mischief.
The Nanaimo School District will be assessing the area later Saturday to determine if any damaged took place before boarding the property back up.
Police have been on the scene of the incident since 4 p.m. Friday, and called in the RCMP Emergency Response Team to conduct the removal.
“There were lots of unknown factors,” Said O’Brien. “There could have been weapons, booby traps.”
Between 18 and 21 individuals were arrested.
Forty to 50 officers were on the scene, and crowds gathered on both sides of the closed road in front of the school to both protest and support the removal.
“The public was extremely supportive and well-behaved,” added O’Brien.
The group from Nanaimo’s Discontent City and supporters broke into the school to start what they dubbed the “Schoolhouse Squat.”
It was to protest a court injunction, displacement and the lack of affordable housing in the city for the homeless.
On Sept. 21, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled everyone at Discontent City on 1 Port Drive must leave the encampment within 21 days.
The group calls the ruling a court-ordered death sentence.
More to come