Four women and a man were arrested Wednesday as the RCMP enforced an injunction order against old-growth-logging protesters near Lake Cowichan.
One of the women and the man refused to identify themselves and two of the women were repeat offenders, police said.
The area was the site of a previous blockade and was reoccupied this month by people opposed to forestry operations in the area of Fairy Creek.
The camp is on Ditidaht Traditional Territory, and leaders from the Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht and Pacheedaht First Nations had given the protesters a final request to leave on June 23.
“We have heard the concerns of the impacted First Nations leaders and the RCMP are working with all the stakeholders to determine a peaceful resolution,” said RCMP Chief Supt. John Brewer. “Interfering with the lawful use and enjoyment of property is a criminal offence, and impeding access to forestry roads is a clear violation of the court-ordered injunction granted to Teal-Cedar Products Ltd.”
Officers were deployed to the Haddon Main/Carmanah Mainline Forest Service Roads area Wednesday and anyone found to be violating the injunction was subject to arrest, police said.
Brewer said officers had to haul “massive amounts of garbage, debris and harmful chemicals” from the encampment, something they’ve seen at other protest camps in the area over the past year. “The environmental damage to the ground they have caused is appalling.”
Patrols in the area will continue, police said.