Police on their way to conduct enforcement of the BC Supreme Court injunction against protests and blockades in Tree Farm Licence 46 were stopped by a group of activists west of Honeymoon Bay on Monday, June 14.
According to a post on the Fairy Creek Blockade Facebook page, which is maintained by the Rainforest Flying Squad, the RFS put out a call early in the morning for people to gather close to Honeymoon Bay. RCMP vehicles were on their way to the Braden Creek area when they encountered the protesters blocking the road.
The protesters were outside the area covered by the injunction, but according to the police, they were on private property and blocking traffic on the logging road in both directions. Police said the injunction was read to the group, and they were given the opportunity to leave. Four people refused to leave the property and were arrested for mischief.
Nanaimo’s Carole Tootill was at the Honeymoon Bay blockade, but missed the arrests themselves. She said she counted “well over two dozen” logging trucks and industry pickup trucks going in and out of the area during the time she was there. Tootill also said that police did not give the first two arrested protesters a chance to leave before they were arrested, although others were given that opportunity.
The RFS is also distancing itself from a report on social media posted Tuesday that detailed behaviour by a reported protester in the McClure area, also west of Honeymoon Bay. According to the post, a male passenger got out of a vehicle and struck a guard at a security checkpoint run by Domcor Traffic Services, then asked another person at the site how to get to the “ancient rainforest.” When told he was at a second-growth site, he broke the mirror on a truck, then moved safety cones at the checkpoint. He got back in the car, which drove through the checkpoint, then got back out and mooned the guards. The female driver and a child described as being five or six years of age gave the middle finger to the guards.
A spokesperson for the RFS said they didn’t know who the people in the vehicle were, and that they didn’t sound like members of the group.
“Rainforest Flying Squad is a volunteer-driven, grassroots, non-violent direct action movement,” they said. “RFS asks members to be respectful at all times. The actions described violate our stated code of conduct. The code of conduct is posted on our website at https://laststandforforests.com/get-involved/code-of-conduct/. We ask everyone coming to Fairy Creek to be aware of the code of conduct and to abide by it — both RFS members and visitors to the blockades.”
The second point in the code of conduct specifically denounces the behaviour described in the post: “This is a peaceful, respectful blockade. There is no tolerance for violent behaviour, destruction of property, or acts of aggression towards anyone.”