Around 100 protesters gathered outside the Oceanside RCMP detachment in Parksville to voice concerns over police conduct at Fairy Creek.
The event was planned by Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo, but organizer Andrea Smith said the demonstration was nonpartisan and made up of residents concerned about old-growth logging, as well as recent RCMP actions at Fairy Creek. The protest coincided with numerous others across B.C.
“We’re targeting the RCMP because as of Aug. 9, the violence against the peaceful protesters in Fairy Creek has exacerbated tenfold,” said Smith, who is a member of Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo and Extinction Rebellion Salish Sea.
RCMP arrested over 70 people on Friday and Saturday, according to a release by Lake Cowichan RCMP.
David Haynes also helped organize the Parksville event and said he believes RCMP began arresting Fairy Creek demonstrators more violently around the one-year mark of the protests.
“These are all people who are here because they’re concerned and they’re upset and they want the RCMP to know how angry we are about their behaviour,” said Haynes.
He said the idea to demonstrate outside the RCMP detachment came up while he and some others were protesting old-growth forest logging outside the office of Parksville-Qualicum MLA Adam Walker. Friday will be the 22nd consecutive week residents have demonstrated outside Walker’s office, according to Haynes.