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(Photos) More anti-logging protesters arrested for blocking traffic in Burnaby

'That we are still cutting old-growth forests in B.C. in 2022 is abhorrent and indefensible,' said protester arrested after blocking traffic atop a ladder in the middle of Grandview Highway Monday.

Two more anti-logging protesters have been arrested for holding up traffic on major roadways in Burnaby this week.

Police were called to Grandview Highway at Boundary Road just after 8 a.m. Monday morning, according to a Burnaby RCMP news release.

A row of demonstrators had blocked off all the lanes of the major commuter thoroughfare.

One protester, Ben Holt, perched atop a ladder in the middle of the road and held out two coloured smoke sticks billowing the green and yellow colours of Save Old Growth, a group calling for the end of all old-growth logging in the province.

“That we are still cutting old-growth forests in B.C. in 2022 is abhorrent and indefensible,” Holt said in a Save Old Growth news release. “Old-growth forests are worth so much more as intact ecosystems than they are as lumber.”

Another demonstrator at the scene had glued his hand to the road, according to the release.

Police said most of the demonstrators left the area once officers arrived, but Holt and the man who had glued his hand to the road refused to leave and were arrested for “mischief and intimidation by blocking or obstructing a highway.”  

A Burnaby Fire Department ladder truck was called in to remove Holt, and paramedics eventually unglued the second protester from the road.

Police said the demonstration caused “significant safety concerns” and affected traffic for more than three hours.

“The actions of these individuals drained first-responder resources and put the safety of the public in harm’s way,” Burnaby RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Kalanj said in the release. “We respect everyone’s right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest; however, this demonstration created significant public safety concerns for the demonstrators and the travelling public.”

Holt said his actions were aimed at pushing Premier John Horgan to “do the right thing” and end old-growth logging.

“Deciding to get arrested isn’t a decision I have taken lightly,” he said in the Save Old Growth release. “This is not a situation I ever expected to find myself in; however, these are not ordinary times.”

Save Old Growth actions designed to disrupt traffic on the Trans Canada Highway have resulted in 80 arrests in B.C. since January, but the group has vowed to continue escalating the disruptions until the government acts to pass laws banning old-growth logging.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor