West Shore RCMP have arrested three protesters outside Premier John Horgan’s residence in Langford on Tuesday morning.
In a statement on Tuesday, Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island announced their plans to conduct a lockdown outside Horgan’s driveway before attempting to execute a citizen’s arrest of the Premier in an attempt to disrupt the B.C. government budget speech this afternoon.
West Shore RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Lea tells Victoria Buzz that police were called by a neighbour who witnessed the protest at around 7:53 a.m.
According to witnesses, protesters had walked up to Horgan’s home and started banging on his door, stating they were going to make a citizen’s arrest.
Officers arrived on-site at 8:30 a.m. and found a group of around 10 people outside Horgan’s home, comprised of protesters and media.
“We also saw a couple of people who were probably a little more motivated to protest than others,” said Sgt Lea, confirming that two people laid down on Horgan’s driveway in an attempt to block access to his residence.
The Premier was not initially at home but police say he returned to his residence and went inside while the protests were ongoing.
Police set up a safety zone outside Horgan’s residence and advised the individuals that they would be arrested if they continued to block the driveway.
Several protesters left and stood outside the safety zone but police arrested the three remaining individuals who refused to leave the driveway.
They will be released today on an Undertaken for a later court date, and their release will be bound by conditions not to be in the area of the Premier’s residence or his constituency office in Langford.
“The unlawful entry onto private property and committing the criminal offence of mischief by blocking access at the Premier’s residence was a gross invasion,” said Inspector Todd Preston in a statement.
“I strongly condemn the actions of the individuals involved.”
This protest was undertaken in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, Indigenous peoples, and settler groups who have been organizing demonstrations across Canada in support of Wet’suwet’en sovereignty for the past two weeks.
While Horgan has yet to comment on the events of Tuesday morning, provincial opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson took to Twitter to condemn the actions of the protesters, stating “No one in B.C. should ever feel unsafe in their homes or at their workplace.”
I strongly condemn the actions of protestors at the home of @jjhorgan this morning. No one in B.C. should ever feel unsafe in their homes or at their workplace. This is not how democracy works and this is not how we treat each other here. #bcpoli
— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) February 18, 2020
Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent civil disobedience group founded by British environmental activists Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook.
Their movement began in October 2018 with acts of civil disobedience in London and has since sent shockwaves across the globe with many of their protests receiving massive media coverage.