The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District says squatters (activists) who occupied Rutherford Elementary School this weekend have significantly damaged the building.

The clean up and repair is expected to cost the district at least $100,000.

On Friday, protestors broke into the school that was closed down by the district at the end of June after the opening of a new school annex nearby.

According to a GoFundMe account set up by the organizers, the ‘Schoolhouse Squat’ was meant as a protest against the BC Supreme Court’s decision to shut down the homeless camp (named DisconTent City) which has been present on Port Drive since May.

On Saturday, the RCMP Emergency Response Team arrested around 20 people who were inside the abandoned building. They are now facing charges of break and enter and criminal mischief.

School District 68 chair Steve Rae took to Facebook on Sunday to share photos of the aftermath of the 18-hour occupation to show the damage they left behind.

He said all the doors on the ground floor were damaged and thrown into the hallway along with other furnishings. Walls were also covered in graffiti.

Rae said he found drills, saws, machetes and large knives. He also said they located drug paraphernalia everywhere.

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

I see the Alliance against Displacement have blocked me so I will share some pics here from what we found in the…

Posted by Steve Rae on Sunday, October 7, 2018

A press conference organized by the squatters was outside the Nanaimo RCMP detachment Sunday turned into a yelling match when a man with a megaphone arrived and accused them of not speaking for the region’s actual homeless population.

Press conference outside Nanaimo RCMP detachment and jail demanding release of organizers still locked up!

Posted by Alliance Against Displacement on Sunday, October 7, 2018

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