Nearly as many protesters were arrested at old-growth logging blockades on southern Vancouver Island on Tuesday, May 25 as had been arrested in the previous eight days of enforcement combined.
The RCMP arrested 55 protesters at the camp on McClure Forest Service Road in the Caycuse area on Tuesday. Police started enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction against the camps on Monday, May 17, and had arrested 57 protesters between then and Monday, May 24. The 57 included four arrests from May 22 that hadn’t been included in previous announcements.
Police were planning to concentrate enforcement on Tuesday at a camp closer to Port Renfrew in the Fairy Creek area, but received word just before 8 a.m. that a large group of people had gathered near the Caycuse camp and blocked traffic in both directions. Some officers were sent from the Port Renfrew area to Caycuse, where they arrested 55 protesters for breaching the injunction, including nine who had been arrested on previous days.
“More arrests are pending as individuals continue their blockade today [Wednesday, May 25] of the roadway on McClure Forest Service Road,” BC RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Chris Manseau said.
All protesters arrested previously had been processed at the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment, and Manseau said police were attempting to continue doing so.
The RCMP said they had made a total of 112 arrests at the blockades through Tuesday. Nine individuals had been arrested twice.
The RCMP release about arrests on Tuesday covered only arrests made at the McClure Forest Service Road near Caycuse, and made no mention of arrests at camps closer to Port Renfrew. According to the Fairy Creek Blockade Facebook page, six protesters had been arrested at the 2000 Road camp, which sprung up near Port Renfrew last week.
A group of about 100 seniors hiked into 2000 Road on Tuesday and swarmed the RCMP exclusion zone, although no arrests were reported among that group.