Five more protesters were arrested by the RCMP at the Caycuse camp on Wednesday, May 19, bringing the total to 12 arrests over two days since enforcement of an injunction order began.
Four of the protesters were arrested for breaching the injunction order issued by the B.C. Supreme Court regarding Fairy Creek, a watershed area near Port Renfrew. One was detained for obstruction after failing to abide by police orders, RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Chris Manseau said in a news release.
“All arrested individuals will be processed at the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment and released following signing their conditional release documents,” Manseau explained.
A special extraction team was attempting to remove two other protesters who had locked themselves to a bridge.
Seven protesters were arrested on Tuesday, the first day of enforcement action by the RCMP. The first five were arrested for breaching the injunction, and other two for obstruction after trying to force their way through a police checkpoint on the McClure Forest Service Road.
All seven of the protesters arrested Tuesday were processed at the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment. Six were released pending a future court date, while the seventh refused to sign a conditional release document and was held in custody overnight prior to a court appearance in Nanaimo on Wednesday.
Video posted to the Fairy Creek Blockade page on Facebook showed supporters rallying outside the courthouse on Wednesday during the court appearance. A protester, identified as Angela (Rainbow Eyes) Davidson, was released, and comments on the video that she wasn’t required to sign anything prior to her release.
“Leaving site yesterday and getting to the top and hearing the cheers in the police mobile was probably the coolest experience I’ve ever had,” Davidson told the crowd. “The power is in the people and we have to remember that the power is in the land and we connect with the land and we fight for the land; something new is created we’ve never felt before because we’re trapped. And they don’t want us to feel that alive-ness of fighting for something that is so needed right now that will change the tides.”
Additionally, the Canadian Association of Journalists is asking the court to limit the power of the RCMP when issuing injunctions after media access was temporarily blocked during enforcement of the court injunction.
“The RCMP and other police agencies have failed to respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when executing injunctions,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly. “Since they have not shown an ability to handle the powers, the only solution we can think of is to respectfully ask the courts to limit those powers.”