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RCMP make 8 more arrests at Vancouver Island old-growth logging blockades

A sign posted on a dead tree on the Bugaboo, a logging road in the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.

VICTORIA – Mounties have arrested eight more people camped near old-growth forest logging areas west of Victoria.

RCMP say in a release that seven of the people they arrested Saturday were in violation of an injunction ordering them off the land in the Fairy Creek area.

Read more: B.C. deferring old-growth forestry in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran for 2 years

They say the eighth person is accused of assaulting police.

Police say two of those arrested were minors.

Meanwhile, opponents of the old-growth logging say they ended their week-long hunger strike on Saturday, though they did not get to meet with British Columbia Premier John Horgan or federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson as requested.

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But Extinction Rebellion spokesman Zain Haq says he and the other two hunger strikers were happy to receive a call from the leader of B.C.’s Green party, Sonia Furstenau.

Click to play video: 'Old-growth logging halted at two Vancouver Island sites' Old-growth logging halted at two Vancouver Island sites
Old-growth logging halted at two Vancouver Island sites – Jun 10, 2021

Earlier this month, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations who wanted old-growth logging deferred in their territories for two years, but the protests are continuing.

The RCMP began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction ordering the removal of blockades and protesters at several sites on May 17.

Read more: Squamish Nation asks B.C. government to defer old-growth logging for 2 years

They have so far arrested 254 people who they say are violating the injunction.

Activists say little of the best old-growth forests remain in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact valley on southern Vancouver Island.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2021.

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