This was the scene at the main entrance to the homeless camp in Regina Park early Thursday afternoon. Activist Ashley Mollison has

Saanich activist charges police with “cruel and inhumane” approach towards homeless camp

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement calls for 24-hour-vigil outside Regina Park.

As residents of the homeless camp continue to depart Regina Park, a camp advocate has raised serious charges against Saanich Police.

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement has raised a series of charges against authorities in accusing them of strong-arm tactics.

“Saanich bulldozing tent city,” she said in a tweet Thursday afternoon. “Literally. Supporters and media not allowed in. Campers aren’t allowed to talk to each other, leave, or buy dope. 1 resident already arrested. I wasn’t allowed in cause I called it a police state. So #policestate. Not cool @saanich.”

Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police confirmed police arrested one person, whom officers have since released.

“There was one arrest this morning (without incident),” he said. “However, that person has been released and is now back at the encampment retrieving his belongings.”

When asked about the charges in Mollison’s tweets, Leslie declined to comment

“We have no position on an individual’s tweet,” he said.

Mollison’s Thursday afternoon was among several in which she attacked police behaviour.

“Such an inhumane and cruel approach to homelessness,” she wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday. “Not only do people have nowhere to go, the strong arm of the state is moving in to tear down homes and lives. Is this what you wanted @saanich ???”

Related: Saanich police to surround homeless camp in Regina Park

Mollison leveled this charge among others in a series of social media postings that started late Wednesday. She focused specifically on the police’s use of spotlights that police had erected outside the camp Wednesday.

Mollison continued to raise concerns, when Thursday morning, after police had told her that supporters of the camp would not be able to assist residents in helping them pack up.

She later spoke of a “state violence” in asking the public to participate in a 24-hour vigil.

These charges hovered in the background Thursday morning as several police officers supervised residents as they packed up their belongings. The Saanich News could not access the site. Observations from outside the fencing erected Wednesday show large piles of belongings and garbage placed among the remaining tents. During the course of the early afternoon, observers witnessed trucks and other heavy machinery coming and go from the site.

Police officers positioned near the two main entrances also asked pedestrians about their respective destinations. Police officers also kept media at a distance from the entrance near the intersection of Harriet Road and Battleford Avenue.

A sense of apprehension appeared to be in the air early Thursday, some 24 hours before a planned rally marking the end of the camp.

Related: Tent city in Saanich shuts down

But observers Thursday also witnessed several lighter moments. During one such moment, a male camp resident and a female Saanich police were kicking a soccer across the field.

The Saanich News also asked the District of Saanich for comment and will update the story accordingly.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read