Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday.
“Police are aware that there was a call out for parents to bring their children to the camps supporting the protest activities,” said B.C. RCMP Saturday in a release that announced the arrests of eight individuals including two minors. Police say they transported all arrested individuals to the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment for processing.
Police made the arrests enforcing a court-injunction against opponents of old-growth logging in the area. Police said the minors breached the injunction by being in a tripod and locking themselves in a sleeping dragon. “We are asking parents to help prevent their minors from participating in these dangerous and illegal activities,” it read.
While the provincial government has recently announced a two-year deferral on old-growth logging in Vancouver Island’s Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas following a declaration by three First Nations in the area, protests and arrests have continued.
Police have now arrested 222 people since the start of enforcement actions last month. Police say they have arrested at least 10 people multiple times. Of the 222 total arrested, 180 were for breaching the injunction (civil contempt of court), 41 were for obstruction, and one for counselling to resist arrest.
RCMP continue to enforce a court injunction issued in April that grants forestry company Teal-Jones access to the site after logging opponents had blocked access dating back to August of 2020.
The site has turned into a flashpoint of competing demands from environmentalists lamenting the continuous loss of shrinking old-growth forest ecosystems and from forest companies favouring the high-quality wood from those very same areas.
The dispute with its familiar ecological-economic fault line has also become a testing ground for relations between the Crown and Aboriginal interests.
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