Six people arrested in Saanich old-growth logging protest that blocked Highway 1

Six people arrested in Saanich old-growth logging protest that blocked Highway 1
A group of protesters demanding an end to old-growth logging in B.C. blocked Highway 1 in Saanich Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Saanich police say they arrested six people who blocked the Trans-Canada Highway as part of an ongoing series of protests against old-growth logging.

In a news release, police say between 25 and 30 “Save Old Growth” protesters blocked the highway at Tillicum Road at around 3:40 p.m. Monday.

Additional police resources including help from West Shore RCMP were called in to deal with the protesters.

Those arrested were taken to the Saanich Police Department and later released with conditions and court dates.

Police say the highway reopened to traffic just after 4 p.m.

“This demonstration took place at a time when several of our officers were responding to priority emergency calls in Saanich,” Saanich police spokesman Const. Markus Anastasiades said in a statement.

“We would like to thank the West Shore RCMP for assisting at the scene and the Victoria Police for offering their resources as well. While people have the right to protest in a lawful manner, we have no tolerance for illegal protests that block our highways.”

Monday’s protest was just the latest in a series of ongoing highway blockades staged by old-growth logging protesters, who are calling for an immediate halt to all old-growth logging in the province.

Earlier in the day in Nanaimo, a group of about 10 protesters marched to the intersection of Island Highway and Terminal Avenue and two of them were arrested after they didn’t clear the roadway.

A 68-year-old Nanaimo man and 47-year-old Denman Island women are facing charges of mischief as a result, RCMP said.

“Save Old Growth” is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, which is a civil resistance movement.

The group has carried out protests in Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver over the last four weeks, each time resulting in arrests.


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