Protests against old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island are seeing an increase in arrests.

old-growth logging
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Police said they arrested 49 people protesting old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed on southern Vancouver Island, near Port Renfrew, on a single day this week.

After the 55 arrests on May 28, this is the second-highest daily total. The number of arrests per day has been increasing, and demonstrators claim that police are getting more antagonistic.

At the camp on Wednesday, Jessy Bokser, a protester from Victoria, told that, “Violently pushing ahead and aggressively extracting people.” “It’s just complete disrespect – physically snatching individuals who are sitting calmly on the road.”

The demonstrations are centred on an area on southwestern Vancouver Island where Teal Jones owns a logging licence. A tiny group of protesters set up camp a year ago to prevent the construction of a road that would give access to the Fairy Creek watershed’s old-growth trees.

Teal Jones obtained a court order prohibiting demonstrators from entering the area, which police began to enforce in May of this year.

Since the crackdown began, the RCMP has detained 698 people, 56 of whom had been arrested before. The RCMP said in a statement Thursday evening that 524 of the arrests were for violating the injunction.

Protesters have remained ensconced in various “hard blocks” such as trenches, abandoned automobiles, and tripods fashioned of three logs leaning together with a protester perched on top, above the cops’ heads. Police employ shovels, cherry pickers, chainsaws, and even excavators to remove them.