Arrests continue as RCMP enforce the injunction against protestors near Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan.
During today’s continuing enforcement operations, a total of five people were arrested – four for breaching the injunction order, and one for obstruction after failing to abide by lawful direction of police.
As of this publication, RCMP said that attempts are being made to remove two people from locking devices on the bridge, after which both will be arrested for breaching the injunction order.
The arrests come following the establishment of a temporary access control area and a checkpoint along the McClure Forest Service Road near Lake Cowichan on Monday.
Video footage has surfaced of protestors at the Caycuse blockade being arrested by RCMP on Tuesday, May 18th.
In the footage below, thirteen RCMP officers can be seen approaching the blockade, urging the protestors to move on.
A second video from Emily Hoffpauir and the Wilderness Committee shows protestors being served copies of the injunction.
In another video, a protestor known as Rainbow Eyes, stands chained to a gate and attached to another protestor, unnamed, via PVC pipe, blocking the gate to entry through to the logging area near Lake Cowichan.
On Monday, the RCMP limited media access to the temporary access areas near the blockades.
In a video posted to the Instagram, a journalist is seen breaching the temporary access zone, and is subsequently arrested by police for “obstruction.”
In a statement to their website, the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) called on courts to limit the powers of the RCMP when enforcing an injunction.
“The RCMP and other police agencies have failed to respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when executing injunctions,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly.
“Since they have not shown an ability to handle the powers, the only solution we can think of is to respectfully ask the courts to limit those powers.”
RCMP released a statement Tuesday stating that media access has since been amended.
“Initially, we were only allowing the media during enforcement. But the RCMP discussed and decided that during enforcement, the media must be escorted,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau.
“Most journalists on scene were allowed access without issue. Because of the locking mechanisms [attached to protestors], we said, for their [the media’s] safety, that they back up. Everyone agreed, except one.”
On Wednesday, dozens of people gathered outside the Nanaimo courthouse to support the release of protestor, Rainbow Eyes.
Protests and blockades have been set up to stop forestry company, the Teal-Jones Group, from logging old growth trees in the area of Tree Farm License 46 near the Fairy Creek watershed.
Protestors recently filed a notice to appeal the court-ordered injunction.
Since enforcement began, the RCMP have arrested 12 individuals; nine for breaching the injunction and three for obstruction, with two pending arrests.