Four protestors who refused to clear major roadway arrested by RCMP
2021-06-01 11:00 PDT
File # 2021-1872
A large demonstration Monday afternoon, which blocked a main thoroughfare in Castlegar for upwards of 4-hours, concluded with the arrest of four protestors who refused to relocate to another suitable and safe location.
On May 31, 2021 just after 1 p.m., approximately 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Castlegar RCMP Detachment and Castlegar City Hall building in protest of old growth logging in BC. The large group of demonstrators occupied both lanes of Columbia Avenue, using people and motor vehicles.
The primary concern of police was of course public safety, police officer safety and the preservation of the right to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, said Sgt. Monty Taylor, Detachment Commander of the Castlegar RCMP.
Front line officers and city officials worked quickly to re-direct traffic safely around demonstrators and properly notify all other emergency services personnel. While RCMP established and participated in ongoing discussions with a group appointed police liaison.
By about 5 p.m. Castlegar RCMP explained that arrests would be necessary, and criminal charges would be forwarded for consideration to the BC Prosecution Service. At approximately 5:13 p.m., the group of demonstrators reduced in numbers to just over 20 protestors who refused to clear from the roadway.
The individuals who remained on the roadway were given an opportunity to leave the area, or relocate to another location to lawfully protest, or face arrest and potential criminal charges of intimidation contrary to section 423 of the Criminal Code. Ultimately 4 individuals, who range in age from 14 to 34, refused to vacate the highway and were arrested by police.
The youth, who was not handcuffed, was released a short time later into the custody and care of a guardian. The three other adults have been released after being processed at the Castlegar RCMP Detachment. Each face potential charges and are expected to appear in Castlegar Law Courts on August 25, 2021.
Cpl. Jesse O'DonagheyDistrict Advisory NCO (Media Relations)
170-395 Penno Road Kelowna, BC V1X 7W5
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