Protester, police officer assaulted at old-growth logging blockades on Vancouver Island: RCMP
Published Tuesday, July 13, 2021 12:06PM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 13, 2021 12:17PM PDT
VICTORIA -- Mounties say a protester and a police officer were assaulted in separate incidents Monday at blockades set up to prevent old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island.
The RCMP were in the Gordon Mainline and Braden Mainline areas of the Fairy Creek watershed to enforce an injunction against the blockades.
Prior to their arrival on scene, Lake Cowichan RCMP received a complaint that protesters and several vehicles were preventing workers from entering the Honeymoon Bay area.
Police say a fight erupted between workers and protesters, with one blockader who had secured himself to the site with a locking device suffering unspecified injuries.
The protester was treated at the scene by paramedics but he refused to remove himself from the locking device to be taken to hospital, the RCMP said Tuesday.
Three protesters, including two minors, were ultimately removed from locking devices and arrested for mischief.
The Lake Cowichan RCMP say they are investigating the assault and ask anyone with information to contact investigators.
Ten people in total were arrested at the blockades on Monday, police said, including two people who were arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
The incident occurred when a vehicle containing three people drove through a police checkpoint and into a ditch. While driving out of the ditch, the vehicle allegedly struck an officer and continued on the forestry road, according to police.
The vehicle was later located with the assistance of an RCMP helicopter and its three occupants were arrested. The officer who was struck did not suffer serious injuries, according to police.
The 10 people arrested Monday were processed at the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment or released in Port Renfrew.
There have now been 403 arrests since police began enforcing the injunction in May, including at least 27 people who have been arrested more than once.
Of the total number arrested, 298 were for breaching the injunction, 84 were for obstruction, 10 were for mischief, two for breaching their release conditions, four for assaulting a police officer, one for resisting arrest, one for counselling to resist arrest and one for public intoxication.
Last month, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations to defer logging in about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.