Around 30 Vernon residents are joining British Columbians in solidarity, demanding RCMP stand down.
Set up outside the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP detachment, demonstrators are standing against hundreds of arrests of protesters and land defenders since RCMP’s enforcement at Ada’itsx (Fairy Creek), at the north end of Vancouver Island, in May.
Vernon organizers wrote Monday’s demonstration (Aug. 23) will shed light and call for an end of “needless violence over the protection of our last remaining true old growth.”
It’s one of a number of Stand Down RCMP rallies planned provincewide.
“Today we are congregating in support of Fairy Creek protesters and their safety,” said Vernon rally co-organizer Genevieve Daniel, joined just after the rally’s start at 1 p.m. by about 30 protesters with that number expected to grow throughout the afternoon.
“It’s come to light following the Supreme Court ruling that RCMP are overstepping their rights in their extractions and how they’re doing that.”
Daniel said RCMP have been grossly overstepping their power, saying more protesters are being groped, women are being touched inappropriately to let go of their grasps of other protesters, and that people have been pepper-sprayed, dragged and dropped on their heads.
“I think it’s now coming forward that the protesters’ safety is being placed into harm’s way,” she said. “It’s grossly overstepping into people being arrested illegally for just being present which is their constitutional right to be able to demonstrate lawfully and peacefully.”
Today’s event is slated to run through the afternoon.