RCMP arrest 3 more at old-growth logging protests on Vancouver Island

There have now been 356 arrests in the Fairy Creek area since police began enforcing the injunction in May, including at least 22 people who have been arrested more than once.(RCMP)

Mounties arrested three more people Wednesday for breaching an injunction against blockades set up to prevent old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island.

The RCMP have now arrested 412 people since enforcement of the injunction began in May, including at least 27 people who have been arrested more than once, according to police.

Wednesday’s arrests were near the 5.5-kilometre mark of the Bugaboo Mainline, up from the Gordon River Mainline, police said.

One blockader was found in a locking device at the bottom of a trench.

"Officers assessed the device and have identified the individual,” said RCMP Chief Supt. John Brewer in a statement Wednesday night. “Based on the unstable sides of the trench and the fact that the individual can free themselves voluntarily at any time, they were allowed to remain.”

Of the 412 people arrested, 304 were for breaching the injunction, 84 were for obstruction, 10 were for mischief, two for breaching their release conditions, four for assaulting a police officer, one for resisting arrest, one for counselling to resist arrest and one for public intoxication.

In June, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations defer logging of about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.

Activists are calling for the permanent protection of the region’s old-growth forests, saying the temporary deferrals fall short in light of the climate crisis.