Burnaby RCMP make arrests during Camp Cloud eviction as city begins dismantling site
Burnaby RCMP have made arrests in the process of evicting protesters from Camp Cloud, the protest camp set up in opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Cpl. Daniela Panesar said five people were arrested Thursday morning.
Officers have blocked off Shellmont Street and Underhill Avenue at Forest Grove Drive.
Protesters defied injunction
On Aug. 10, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery granted the city an injunction ordering all camp structures, shelters and vehicles be removed from outside the Kinder Morgan tank farm within 48 hours.
Since the deadline some protesters have remained at the camp in defiance of the order, maintaining the court does not have jurisdiction over the site.
In a statement, Burnaby RCMP said there will be an increase in police presence in the area and it will be bringing in equipment and personnel in conjunction with the CIty of Burnaby to start removing structures.
The area will be under an exclusion zone until the camp is cleared, and once completed, the police say the public will be able to re-enter the camp where "peaceful, lawful and safe" protest can resume.
RCMP have also blocked media from entering the zone.
City crews on site
Crews from the City of Burnaby are on site to dismantle the camp. Dipak Dattani, director of corporate services, says crews will likely be on scene all day.
"There could be hazardous materials that we have to look for. There could be materials — needles or other things — that we would have to be cautious about," Dattani said.
"Once we identify everything is safe and ready to go, we'll start taking stock of information and taking photographs, removing the materials and looking at dismantling."
Workers are bulldozing a two-storey wooden structure at the camp. <a href="https://t.co/JQbP7vpQQj">pic.twitter.com/JQbP7vpQQj</a>—@alexem
'Police presence was massive'
Tzeporah Berman, director of the environmental advocacy group Stand, was at the site when the arrests began.
"The police presence was massive. I don't even know how many trucks or officers and they came in," Berman said.
Despite that, she said the arrests are not surprising.
"Certainly there's been an understanding for some time that the injunction was going to be enforced," she said.
"They were going to be asked to leave and they stayed, so they were arrested."
Camp Cloud started in November with a single trailer but has grown to include a two-storey wooden structure, a cabin, an outdoor shower, more than a dozen tents, and multiple vehicles and trailers.
As of Wednesday, there are about a dozen or so protesters living at the camp including a family with an eight-year-old child.
With files from Yvette Brend
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