Correction to News Release of January 22nd, 2020
Incorrect information appeared in this news release pertaining to the number of arrests that took place associated with the protest at the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines offices on January 21st and 22nd.
Thirteen, not twelve protesters were arrested. All arrested were adults, aged 18 and older.
The discrepancy emerged as one person who was arrested was not processed through the VicPD jail. This person was instead released shortly after arrival and thus not recorded in the jail log that is used to verify day-of arrest numbers.
We apologize for the error.
The original release is below.
Victoria, BC – Twelve adults were taken into custody this morning following a protest which lasted several hours.
Officers were called to a Province of B.C. government building in the 1800-block of Blanshard Avenue at 11 a.m. yesterday for a report that a group of protesters had occupied the lobby area.
Over the next several hours, officers worked with both representatives of the protest group and the Province to find a peaceful resolution to the incident. Plain clothes community liaison officers attended and remained on scene to listen to and speak with the participants. Officers facilitated access to medicine, food, and water. Officers also assisted parents who arrived to pick up youth who were present at the protest.
In the course of the evening, additional protesters arrived outside the building. Officers from Patrol, the Community Services Division, Investigative Services Division and the Integrated Crowd Management Unit attended.
Despite numerous efforts over 15 hours to resolve the situation without arrests, officers were requested to remove the protesters by the building owner once negotiations failed. Officers acted under the lawful authority of the Trespass Act to effect these arrests.
During the arrests, officers spoke directly with protesters, informing each of them of what was occurring at each step of the arrest process. The minimum amount of force was utilized to effect the arrests. As such, the arrests took place over a four-hour period. During the arrests officers were required to carry protesters from the inside of the building to waiting police vehicles.
Additional protesters outside the building made efforts to impede the lawful arrests. Protesters surrounded the officers, who were pushed and shoved while carrying arrestees to the police vehicles. One of these protesters from outside the building was also taken into custody.
Protesters were transported to VicPD cells for processing.
There were no injuries. No charges have been sworn.