A 26-year-old in a sleeping dragon rested in the shade while police conferred in the background. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

A 26-year-old in a sleeping dragon rested in the shade while police conferred in the background. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

RCMP arrest seven, but six stayed locked in protest positions at Fairy Creek blockade

Obstacles change daily, slowing police enforcement

Protesters embedded in and around the the Fairy Creek watershed held their position at the Waterfall blockade on Wednesday, despite heavy police presence.

Seven people were arrested after a confrontation in the morning between two Teal-Jones excavator operators, who police say have been helping remove physical obstacles. Approximately 25 protesters were at the blockade when the two workers arrived, and they surrounded the huge machinery. Police arrested seven people, transferring them to Lake Cowichan for processing.

Police then faced six people who had locked themselves into hard-blocks along the logging road. Protesters say one person was extracted by police because the concrete hadn’t set, but the remaining six remained for approximately four hours until police left.

Four people were locked in ground holds dubbed “sleeping dragons”, where a person secures their arm down a concrete-filled hole that’s reinforced with metal. One was perched on a tripod about 20 feet in the air, and another was locked into a large log positioned across the road.

It can take hours for police to safely extract people from these holds.

On Tuesday at the same blockade, RCMP extracted several people. One man was injured when they cut the legs of a tripod he was locked on. Police say he was treated for a superficial head wound, and that video evidence of the extraction is available should someone file a complaint. A legal observer present said there were only eight supporters there, compared to about 40 on Wednesday.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest all but one at Waterfall blockade, protesters take it back next day

Seventeen-year-old Taylor Specht from Victoria was in a sleeping dragon said it took four hours for police to extract her on Tuesday. On Wednesday she was back in another hold, covered by a tarp for shade, with foam sleeping pad, a jug of water and a bag of snacks in arm’s reach.

Nearby a 26-year-old who withheld her real name, was making friends with the huge carpenter ants crawling over her, getting in her clothes. She used a banana peel to attract them away from her body. Otherwise, she said she was surprisingly comfortable.

Kassia Kooy, a 25-year-old farm worker from Salt Spring was lying face-down on a log, each arm wrapped through and locked into a hole they’d bored through the wood. The hole was lined with metal, reinforced with concrete. The RCMP’s media liaison on site that day, Sgt. Elenore Sturko said this particular design was new to them. Sturko wants the public to understand obstacles like this are why it may seem like the police are being slow to act to enforce the injunction.

A tactical team was there assessing the structures, but on Wednesday, they didn’t grind any metal or jackhammer any concrete as they had the day before. Instead, in the mid-afternoon orders came from the command centre up the mountain to pack up and leave.

The few dozen supporters cheered loudly as police loaded shovels, tarps and tool bags onto their trucks. When an officer rolled up the police tape that had cordoned off an area for supporters, legal observers and journalists, the protesters swarmed the road celebrating and helping their friends out of the hard-blocks.


Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Fairy Creek watershedforestryprotestRCMP

 

Kat Ellis, a 21-year-old protester was surrounded by police most of the day, but she was not extracted. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Kat Ellis, a 21-year-old protester was surrounded by police most of the day, but she was not extracted. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

This hard block that Kassia Kooy, 25, locked herself to, was a new design for police. Sgt. Elenore Sturko said ingenuity like this is the reason police’s enforcement action has not moved faster. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

This hard block that Kassia Kooy, 25, locked herself to, was a new design for police. Sgt. Elenore Sturko said ingenuity like this is the reason police’s enforcement action has not moved faster. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Police take down a tent they’d set up as they prepared to leave the Waterfall blockade. A protester, Kat Ellis, lays on the ground still locked into the “sleeping dragon.” She unlocked herself as police drove away. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Police take down a tent they’d set up as they prepared to leave the Waterfall blockade. A protester, Kat Ellis, lays on the ground still locked into the “sleeping dragon.” She unlocked herself as police drove away. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Three police officers look up at Andreea Pirvu in the tripod lock. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Police gathered outside of the small area they’d established for media, legal observers and other protesters to be. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Police gathered outside of the small area they’d established for media, legal observers and other protesters to be. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read