Anti-logging protests: No arrests Sunday, fewer than previously reported on Saturday, police say
Published Sunday, May 23, 2021 12:43PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:10PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- Police on Vancouver Island say no additional arrests were made in the Fairy Creek Watershed on Sunday, as officers took a day off from enforcing a court-ordered injunction against protesters in the area.
Mounties said in a news release Saturday night that eight people had been arrested at two locations in the old-growth forest for breaching the injunction.
Six of the arrests were made at an encampment near Port Renfrew, while the other two were made along the remote McClure Forest Service Road west of Lake Cowichan later in the day.
After the initial arrests, police said, a group formed around midday and blocked traffic along the road.
In their Saturday release, police said more than two dozen people had been arrested at that roadblock. On Sunday, they corrected that number, reducing it to just 14.
"The court-ordered injunction was read to the group of individuals blocking the roadway and they were provided an opportunity to leave the injunction area or face arrest," police said in their release. "Some people refused to leave, and 14 individuals were subsequently arrested for breaching the injunction."
Activists told The Canadian Press that Tzeporah Berman, one of the organizers of the 1990s “War in the Woods” protest against old-growth logging, was arrested Saturday.
Protesters have been camped out in the Fairy Creek area since last summer with the goal of protecting what they call the last intact, unprotected, old-growth forest on Southern Vancouver Island. On April 1, the B.C. Supreme Court issued its injunction prohibiting activists from obstructing the work of logging company Teal Jones.
The company has said in the past that about 200 hectares of the 1,200-hectare watershed is harvestable, with the rest is either protected or on unstable terrain. It has also said that it plans to harvest about 20 hectares from the harvestable area.
Police say they have now arrested a total of 48 people in the Fairy Creek Watershed. Forty-three of those arrests have been for breaching the injunction, while the remaining five have been for obstruction.
RCMP also said Sunday that a vehicle belonging to Teal Jones had been vandalized. The investigation into that incident is ongoing, police said.
With files from The Canadian Press
An earlier version of this story, based on information from police, said that there had been more than two dozen arrests on Saturday after protesters blocked a forest service road. Police corrected their count on Sunday, saying there had been 14 arrests during the incident.