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Mounties return to make arrests after more logging protesters turn up

Twenty-one people opposed to the logging of old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island have now been arrested by RCMP for breaching a court-ordered injunction.

Twenty-one people opposed to the logging of old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island have now been arrested by RCMP for breaching a court-ordered injunction.

Police did not plan on ­carrying out any enforcement action Thursday, believing the protest camp at the Caycuse roadblock near Lake Cowichan had been emptied, said Cpl. Chris Manseau.

“But when a police patrol went down McClure Road this morning, they encountered ­people who sneaked in overnight, so there were more protesters than we anticipated,” he said. “This morning, more protesters literally came out of the forest. Enforcement is going on now and the media has been invited to return to the scene to watch.”

Police had to scramble to send their enforcement team back down the road, said Manseau, adding nobody knows how many protesters are in the area.

Seven people who returned to the enforcement area on the McClure Forest Service Road were arrested. Six are facing charges of civil contempt of court for breaching the injunction order.

The RCMP are recommending that two others be charged with obstruction, two for possession of stolen property and one for obstruction and assaulting a police officer.

An RCMP news release said those arrested were taken to the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment for processing and all refused to sign a conditional release document. They are being held in custody and are expected to appear in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo this morning.

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