RCMP officers remove a protester from a camp on the Braden Mainline Forestry Service Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Facebook photo)

RCMP officers remove a protester from a camp on the Braden Mainline Forestry Service Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Facebook photo)

Protesters arrested, locking devices destroyed at Vancouver Island logging protest camps

3 arrests Friday bring total number to 170 since May 17

Police made three more arrests and destroyed locking devices that protesters had used in old-growth logging blockades at camps in Port Renfrew on Friday, June 4.

Officers and specially trained personnel removed a number of individuals from locking devices along the Braden Mainline Forestry Service Road over the course of the day, according to the RCMP.

“Any attempt to cut the log could have resulted in serious injuries to the specialized officers have been working to safely remove the protesters from the locking devices.”

RCMP also reportedly “decommissioned” a number of abandoned and unoccupied devices, including a log that had been altered to conceal steel rebar.

“Our officers work to ensure the safety of all those in the area. When individuals are arrested the officers do medical assessments on-site prior to being removed from the locking devices, after being removed, prior to transport and again at the detachment. Emergency Services are on stand-by.”

To date, there have been no complaints or reports of any injuries for any of the arrests that have taken place. All our enforcement actions are documented, including the use of Body-worn cameras, for court or complaint purposes.”

According to the Fairy Creek Blockade Facebook page, which is maintained by the Rainforest Flying Squad, police hiked into the camp around 4:30 a.m. and began filling the locking devices, which they call “sleeping dragons” with rapidly expanding foam.

Two protesters, they said, were able to attach themselves to the devices before they were filled with foam.

Since May 17, when police began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction that prohibits blockades on Tree Farm Licence 46 which includes the controversial Fairy Creek and Caycuse watersheds – 170 prople have been arrested, including at least nine who have been arrested more than once.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest seven, but six stayed locked in protest positions at Fairy Creek blockade

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This hard block that Kassia Kooy, 25, locked herself to, was a new design for police. Sgt. Elenore Sturko said ingenuity like this is the reason police's enforcement action has not moved faster. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)