Mounties on Vancouver Island have arrested five people for breaching an injunction while dismantling an illegal encampment set up by old-growth logging protesters in Nitinat on Wednesday.
RCMP officers dismantled the camp as part of their efforts to enforce a court-ordered injunction that has been granted to the Teal–Jones Group, the company that holds the harvesting licence in the area.
In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, RCMP say four women and one man were arrested for breaching the injunction order. They also say there was a “large amount of garbage” and other debris within the illegal encampment, including gasoline and dangerous materials.
A few weeks ago a group of protesters against old-growth logging operations at Fairy Creek established an illegal encampment and road blockade on Ditidaht territory near Nitinat. The encampment was built at the very same spot where the first arrests took place in last summer’s Fairy Creek protests.
Chiefs from the Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht and Pacheedaht First Nations have repeatedly asked the protesters to immediately dismantle their camp, going so far as to confront them last week.
They have also been working with law enforcement to deal with the protesters, who refuse to leave, with some telling CHEK News last week that they have been given permission from Indigenous elders in the community to defend their forest.
In a press release issued earlier Thursday, BC RCMP said they have heard the concerns raised by Indigenous leaders and are working to deal with the situation.
“We have heard the concerns of the impacted First Nations leaders and the RCMP are working with all the stakeholders to determine a peaceful resolution,” said chief superintendent John Brewer, Gold Commander of the Community-Industry Response Group.