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RCMP resumes daily enforcement of injunction against blockades in Fairy Creek area

RCMP officers are again ­trying to clear logging roads in the Fairy Creek area, near Port Renfrew, after an injunction against protesters was reinstated by the B.C. Court of Appeal.
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A bus and sign are shown near the Eden blockade in the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, B.C., on May, 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne

RCMP officers are again ­trying to clear logging roads in the Fairy Creek area, near Port Renfrew, after an injunction against protesters was reinstated by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The RCMP resumed daily enforcement of the injunction on Monday, after the injunction was reinstated on Oct. 8.

The move followed a Sept. 28 B.C. Supreme Court decision not to extend the court injunction granted to Surrey-based forestry company Teal Jones on April 1.

Justice Douglas Thompson said the RCMP’s enforcement tactics had “led to serious and substantial infringement of civil liberties” and damaged the court’s reputation.

That decision was reversed on Oct. 8, when Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein granted an interim injunction to Teal Jones, pending judgment of its appeal of Thompson’s ruling, to be heard on Nov. 15.

While most officers and specialized teams were pulled from the Fairy Creek area after the injunction ended, the RCMP has maintained a small presence to support local detachments responding to calls related to the protests.

RCMP updates say four protesters were arrested in the three weeks since the injunction ended.

Six people were arrested on Monday, five for breaching the injunction and one for obstruction, bringing the total to 1,114 arrests.

Kathy Code, a spokeswoman for the Rainforest Flying Squad, said on Friday officers appeared to be scouting out the blockades in the area and the number of people present, and Monday marked a return to the kind of enforcement seen from May to September.

“They came with about 20 vehicles, and they hit pretty hard,” she said.

Protesters have maintained several blockades on logging roads in the area since August 2020 in an attempt to prevent Teal Jones from logging old-growth trees.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com