Press release: RCMP arrest nine forest protectors for peacefully refusing to honour injunction

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Press release from Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia’s Moose Country Blockaders – December 15th, 2020

WestFor Management Inc.’s application to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for a temporary injunction to remove Extinction Rebellion Forest Protectors and Friends from the two encampments near New France, Digby County, was granted by Justice Glen G. McDougall on December 11, 2020.

Provisions in Friday’s decision allow for an interlocutory injunction hearing in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, in Halifax, January 26 and 27, 2021, at 9:30 a.m., or sooner should the defendants request an earlier date.

Until that time anyone who has knowledge of the injunction could be held liable for contempt of court should they obstruct, block, impair or interfere with contractors, or encourage others to do so, on any land that WestFor has been licensed and authorized by Department of Lands and Forestry to conduct industrial forestry activities upon.

This afternoon, marking Day 56 of this historic protest, nine of the forest protectors from both encampments peacefully refused to honour the intent of the injunction. They were subsequently arrested and charged by the Digby Detachment of the RCMP with being in contempt of a court order with conditions to appear in court in Digby in the new year. Furthermore, those individuals who were charged are not permitted to return to the blockade site, or any other site that has been, or currently is under WestFor’s management.

“Westfor has asserted the right our provincial government has given it to destroy the habitat of an endangered species in what should be a buffer zone between two wilderness areas. Let’s not pretend that what is happening is acceptable,” said Nina Newington, one of the encampment organizers.

She went on to say, “At a moment when we need natural forests to store carbon and protect wildlife, our government grants companies the right to mow them down. Citizens requesting a meeting with the Minister of Lands and Forestry were arrested in Halifax, and now on Crown land in Digby County. It is past time for our government to stop evading its responsibilities to wildlife and nature, as well as to future generations.”

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