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Arrests surpass 100 at B.C. old-growth logging protests: RCMP

RCMP officers arrest a man during an anti-logging protest in Caycuse, B.C. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne

Police say 55 people were arrested Tuesday as they enforced a British Columbia court injunction ordering the removal of blockades aimed at preventing old-growth logging on southwestern Vancouver Island.

The RCMP say the protesters who gathered along a forest service road west of Lake Cowichan were given a chance to leave or face arrest, and nine of those taken into custody had been arrested in previous days.

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

The Mounties say more than 100 people have been arrested since enforcement of the court injunction began last week to allow workers with the Teal-Jones Group to resume logging in that area and in the Fairy Creek watershed to the south, near Port Renfrew.

Click to play video: 'Loggers turn tables on anti-logging protestors' Loggers turn tables on anti-logging protestors
Loggers turn tables on anti-logging protestors – May 24, 2021

Sgt. Chris Manseau says police enforcement was initially planned for just one location Tuesday at a camp near Port Renfrew, but some officers were redeployed as protesters gathered along the McClure forest service road.

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He says in a statement that arrests were expected to continue there Wednesday.

READ MORE: Seven more arrests at B.C. blockade opposing old-growth logging: RCMP

Activists say 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.

Teal-Jones has said it plans to harvest about 20 hectares at the north ridge of the 1,200-hectare watershed out of 200 available for harvest.

 

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