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Old-growth logging protesters remain in custody after Langford arrests

Two protesters remain in police custody Friday after they were arrested earlier this week for blocking traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langford, B.C.

Mounties responded Wednesday afternoon to a section of the highway north of the West Shore Parkway where police say four or five people sat in the roadway to obstruct rush-hour traffic.

Some of the protesters left when police arrived, though two others had attached themselves to a metal barrel filled with concrete, according to the West Shore RCMP.

A 33-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were arrested after "specialized officers" arrived to remove the protesters and the barrel from the highway, police said.

The protesters are with Save Old Growth, a group that has staged similar blockades on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to protest old-growth logging.

Traffic through the area was affected for approximately four hours, according to the RCMP.

"Even though we were able to manage to have traffic routed around the protesters, those individuals caused a significant traffic backlog that, without a doubt, created a lot of frustration amongst motorists who needed to attend medical appointments [and] child-care services," said Staff-Sgt. Chris Boucher in a statement Friday.

"Those types of illegal demonstrations will not be tolerated and those committing these criminal acts will be arrested promptly and held accountable," Boucher said.

Both protesters appeared in provincial court Thursday on charges of intimidation and mischief. Both remained in police custody Friday.

Save Old Growth member Howard Breen, who is currently on a hunger strike in Nanaimo to protest old-growth logging, said he supported the actions taken Wednesday.

"Does it really matter that people are doing something so disruptive that people are angry at us on the streets, if we wake them up?" he said. "Because the politicians aren’t saving us." Top Stories

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