Protesters believe arrests 'imminent' after court injunction delivered to logging blockade

Demonstrators at forestry blockades near Fairy Creek were served with a court injunction on Tuesday morning and said arrests are “imminent.”

Dozens of people have been blocking access points to a logging cut-block for the past eight months. Teal Jones received an injunction from B.C. Supreme Court last Thursday that orders the protesters removed. If they refuse, RCMP can make arrests for contempt of court.

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A statement from the Rainforest Flying Squad said Teal Jones workers read the injunction to protesters, “clearing the way for RCMP to begin arresting the forest defenders as early as this afternoon.”

“We haven’t seen RCMP yet,” said Shawna Knight, a member of the Rainforest Flying Squad.

The group insists it will not step aside, and said it expects more people will join in as they gather to defend old-growth trees.

The Rainforest Flying Squad also has blockades at Caycuse, where it stopped active logging on the Easter weekend, and camps at Eden and Walbran.

In a statement, Teal Jones said the company’s plans in Fairy Creek have been “mischaracterized.”

“In fact, most of the watershed is protected forest reserve or unstable terrain, and not available for harvesting,” it said.

“We are planning to harvest only a small area, up at the head of the watershed well away from Fairy Lake and the San Juan River. We will harvest with the care and attention to the environment British Columbians expect, and mill every log we cut right here in B.C.”

Teal Jones claims the timber in Tree Forest Licence 46, which it owns, is vital to sustaining its operations, “supporting hundreds of jobs and the creation of wood products we all rely on every day.”

“The judge was clear in his decision that blockades impeding our access to the area are illegal … it is time for our work to get underway.”

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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