Update #72 on police enforcement of injunction order in Fairy Creek Watershed

B.C., Lake Cowichan

2021-08-12 19:06 PDT

Police enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed area continued today, on August 12, 2021 in the same area of the Granite Mainline Forest Service Road.

Officers once again focused their efforts on clearing the area with structures, locking devices and garbage left at a number of abandoned protest camps in other areas within the injunction zone. Over the last three days, RCMP Air Services have now removed via long line in excess of 11,000 pounds of debris from those camps and moved it to a gravel lot nearby in order to ensure those items, some which are clear fire hazards, are not left in the backcountry.

Wellness checks on protesters were conducted by officers throughout the day given the extreme heat conditions. The RCMP also supported and assisted dozens of individuals who decided to leave the area with their belongings and vehicles.

A total of 6 individuals, who were in locking devices or tripods, were arrested today for breaching the injunction (contempt of court). All were released in Lake Cowichan after signing release conditions.

We acknowledge that the Honourable Mr. Justice Thompson has issued his written decision regarding media and public access to the injunction area, and we have received some inquiries regarding the lawfulness of our temporary exclusion zone, says Chief Superintendent John Brewer, Gold Commander of the Community-Industry Response Group. We have sought clarity from the court and it has been made very clear to us that the judicial decision does not preclude us from implementing a temporary exclusion zone or access control points around police while we’re enforcing the injunction. Since the judge’s oral decision on July 20, 2021, we have made adjustments and conduct daily assessments on the location of those temporary exclusion zones and access control points to ensure we are aligned with the court’s direction to keep the two locations as close together as possible. The RCMP will continue to enforce the BC Supreme Court injunction and adhere to the court’s guidance with regard to journalist and public access.

A more accurate tally of arrests to date has been completed. Since enforcement began, the RCMP have now arrested 604 individuals; 56 of whom were previously arrested with a combined total of 131 times. Of the total arrested, 444 were for breaching the injunction (civil contempt of court), 132 were for obstruction, 13 were for mischief, 6 were for breaching their release conditions, 4 were for assaulting a police officer, 2 were for failing to comply with a court order, 1 for counselling to resist arrest, 1 for causing a disturbance, and 1 wanted Canada-wide on warrants issued by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

All news releases on the Fairy Creek Watershed police enforcement issued to date can be found on the Lake Cowichan RCMP Detachment website.


Released by:

BC RCMP Communication Services
Tel: 778-290-2929
Email: bcrcmp@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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