Old-growth logging protester released from custody after Nanaimo court appearance
VICTORIA -- Dozens of people gathered outside the Nanaimo courthouse Wednesday, chanting for the release of a woman who was arrested while protesting the logging of old-growth trees on southern Vancouver Island.
They didn’t have to chant long.
By early afternoon, the woman known as “Rainbow Eyes” walked free from the court
“The power is in the people,” Rainbow Eyes told the crowd in a video posted to Facebook by the group Fairy Creek Blockade. “When land and people truly come together, it creates something that we all feel.”
The woman was one of seven people the RCMP say they arrested Tuesday while enforcing a court injunction against blockade camps in the Fairy Creek watershed near Port Renfrew and the Caycuse watershed near Cowichan Lake.
Rainbow Eyes was held in custody after refusing to agree to the conditions of her release, according to both the RCMP and the protest group Rainforest Flying Squad.
On Wednesday afternoon, police said they had arrested five more people, four for breaching the injunction order and one for obstruction.
Mounties say a special extraction team is also trying to remove and arrest two people who locked themselves onto a bridge in the area.
Police say that anyone who is arrested will be taken to the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment to be processed and released, pending they sign release condition documents.
Since RCMP began enforcing the injunction Tuesday, 12 people have been arrested, nine for breaching the injunction and three for obstruction.
Old-growth activists have maintained several camps in the region since last summer.
The B.C. Supreme Court granted the injunction on April 1, clearing the way for logging activities in Fairy Creek, which protesters say is one of the last unprotected, intact old-growth valleys on southern Vancouver Island.