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49 arrested in latest sweep of ongoing old growth logging protests at Fairy Creek

Since enforcement of the court injunction began in May, 690 people have been charged
RCMP officers wait for protesters in tripods, sleeping dragons and coffins to voluntarily remove themselves earlier this summer in a remote part of southwest Vancouver Island. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff file)

RCMP arrested another 49 people as officers continued to enforce a BC Supreme Court injunction order in the Fairy Creek Watershed area on Wednesday.

Police say protesters continued to use locking or tripod-like devices and deep trenches to block access to the area. In a release, the Mounties say officers were also met with a large group of demonstrators who refused to leave the area, resulting in their arrests.

Of the 49 people charged, 45 face counts of contempt of court, three for obstruction, and one for assaulting a police officer.

RCMP say since enforcement of the court injunction began in May, 690 people have been charged, at least 56 of whom were previously arrested for a combined total of 133 times.

In June, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations and deferred logging of about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.

The Rainforest Flying Squad say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C., and the deferrals fall short of protecting what’s left.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Behind the line at Fairy Creek: Inside B.C.’s old growth forest battleground