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News brief: Forest defenders arrested

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KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – RCMP have arrested at least 8 people camping out at the blockades in Digby County, a post on the Nova Scotia Extinction Rebellion Facebook group announcess.

Earlier Westfor had served a temporary injunction against the forest defenders who for almost eight weeks blocked access to woods flagged for clearcutting in the remote area. 

The area is home of some of the few remaining mainland moose in the province. Harvesting will affect the ecological continuity between two existing wilderness areas, and further deprive the endangered species from their shrinking habitat.

See also: A picture is worth a thousand words: How clearcutting erodes connectivity between wilderness areas in Digby County

“A number of us are willing to do civil disobedience, to sit down and not leave and be arrested in protest against this,” the group’s spokesperson Nina Newington told CTV in a telephone interview Friday from one of the sites. 

A supreme court decision earlier in the year found that the Nova Scotia government had been neglecting its legal duty to protect endangered species such as the mainland moose. Meanwhile, Lands and Forestry employees have argued that harvesting will not have a detrimental effect on the moose habitat whatsoever.

In late November Halifax police removed several activists who were occupying a Lands and Forestry office in Halifax, demanding that Minister Derek Mombourquette meet with representatives of the forest defenders. Two demonstrators were issued a $237 fine for failing to leave.

“These brave forest/moose protectors have been filling the void as our provincial government shamefully thumbs its nose at the Species at Risk Act (among others),” Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia states. “Shame on our government!”

Call Lands and Forestry Minister Derek Mombourquette:, (902) 424-5935 (Halifax main office), and Sydney office: 902-562-8870. Email mindnr@novascotia.ca.

See also: Update: More on the Moose country blockade: “It could become tense”

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