A spokesperson for the RCMP’s E-Division says a protest by indigenous anti-pipeline demonstrators in a provincial park in Clearwater is not over yet despite the arrest of the group’s lead organizer Saturday morning.
The arrest of Kanahus Manuel was livestreamed on Facebook by the group.
They’re protesting against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, part of which traverses North Thompson River Provincial Park, which is the subject of two conflicting First Nations land claims.
RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts says regular members of the Clearwater RCMP as well as liason officer came to the protest camp to discuss an eviction notice issued by BC Parks staff on Thursday.
“While those discussions were starting, an arrest was made. One female was arrested and she has since been transported to the Clearwater RCMP.”
The person arrested has been identified by the Tiny House Warriors as Kanahus Manuel, the organizer of the demonstration and its de-facto spokesperson.
Roberts says after the arrest, talks with the rest of the group resumed.
“Those discussions have been very positive and respectful and there are indications that the demonstrators are starting to pack up, and we’re hopeful that they’ll be complying with the eviction notice hopefully as early as today (Saturday).”
A closure of North Thompson River Provincial Park was authorized by BC Parks for Friday, July 6th to Monday, July 9th for a cultural ceremony at the site of a historic village of the Secwepemc people. On Monday when the ceremony ended some people, effectively lead or represented by Manuel stayed behind to protest the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.