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5 more people arrested at anti-logging protest on southern Vancouver Island

Click to play video: 'Loggers turn tables on anti-logging protestors' Loggers turn tables on anti-logging protestors
A strange twist to the ongoing protests over logging on Vancouver Island in the Fairy Creek Watershed, as loggers set up their own blockade to keep out protestors. Kylie Stanton reports – May 24, 2021

There were more arrests on Vancouver Island Monday as protestors continued to try and stop logging in the Fairy Creek watershed.

Police were on-site once again to read protestors a court injunction that prohibits activists from obstructing logging operations.

Lake Cowichan RCMP said three people were arrested for breaching the injunction and two people were arrested for obstruction at an encampment area near Port Renfrew.

The five people were transported to the Lake Cowichan RCMP Detachment for processing.

There were no arrests on Sunday as there was no planned or scheduled enforcement, RCMP said in a release.

On Saturday, Mounties said “numerous individuals blocked traffic in both directions along the McClure Forest Service Road at the access control checkpoint” and as a result, 14 people were arrested for breaching the injunction.

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Police said everyone was given a choice to leave the injunction area or face arrest.

Click to play video: 'Protestors return to Fairy Creek despite court injunction' Protestors return to Fairy Creek despite court injunction
Protestors return to Fairy Creek despite court injunction – May 20, 2021

Read more: More than 30 arrested at B.C. old-growth logging blockades

Since enforcement began, the RCMP has now arrested 53 people; 46 for breaching the injunction (civil contempt of court) and seven for obstruction, police sa

Activists said very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact old-growth valley on southern Vancouver Island.

The Teal-Jones Group, which holds the timber licence in the area, said it only plans to harvest about 20 hectares of the 1,200 hectare watershed and the rest is protected or unstable.

The company estimates the blockades are preventing it from accessing about $10 million worth of timber.

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Click to play video: 'Arrests made at Fairy Creek anti-logging protest' Arrests made at Fairy Creek anti-logging protest
Arrests made at Fairy Creek anti-logging protest – May 18, 2021

Read more: B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old growth forests reveal First Nation split

Premier John Horgan said in April the blockaders should respect the request from the Pacheedaht First Nation leadership to leave the territory and allow the nation time to make its own decisions about forestry and conservation.

The Pacheedaht do not support “unsolicited involvement or interference by others” in their territory, “including third-party activism,” said the statement from elected chief Jeff Jones and hereditary chief Frank Queesto Jones.

Click to play video: 'Company wins injunction to go ahead with logging in Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island' Company wins injunction to go ahead with logging in Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island
Company wins injunction to go ahead with logging in Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island – Apr 1, 2021

-with files from The Canadian Press

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