Police say they have arrested seven additional people who were staging a protest to protect old-growth trees from being cut down near Port Renfrew.
RCMP said in a news release that they continued to enforce a BC Supreme Court injunction barring protesters from staging blockades of Teal Jones’ cut area in the Fairy Creek watershed.
“Throughout the day, officers, with the assistance of specially trained personnel, removed individuals from various locking devices within the injunction area,” RCMP said.
The seven were arrested for breaching the injunction and transported to Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment.
The activists trying to protect the trees say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C. and that Fairy Creek is the last unprotected old-growth area on the South Island.
RCMP say they are impartial in the dispute and are just following the court-ordered injunction.
“While we respect the rights of individuals to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the BC Supreme Court in the injunction, our primary concerns are public and police officer safety,” police said. “Blocking roadways using the various methods and locking devices that individuals are being extracted from is contrary to the court order, and unlawful.”
Mounties have now arrested 165 people in relation to the protest, at least nine of whom had already been arrested.
With files from The Canadian Press.