A group of activists mark the second anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach with a 24-hour resistance gathering.

A group of activists mark the second anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach with a 24-hour resistance gathering.

Activists blockade road to Mount Polley

A group calling themselves Secwepemc Land Defenders followed through on a promise and blockaded the Bootjack Lake Road access to mine.

In the final hours of a 24-hour resistance gathering on the second year anniversary of the Mount Polley Mine tailings breach, a group calling themselves Secwepemc Land Defenders followed through on a promise and blockaded the Bootjack Lake Road access to the mine.

The blockade began around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4, and lasted about four hours.

It was purposely timed for the shift change at the mine, said Kanahus Manuel, a member of the Secwepemc Women’s Warrior Society and one of the organizers of the gathering.

Around 50 vehicles leaving the mine were permitted to travel through, but not before the activists stopped them and explained they were blockading because they did not agree with the mine being allowed to re-open full time or the water discharge permit.

“We had organized the resistance gathering with like-minded people who care for the salmon — the grandmothers, the families of the impacted communities, surrounding and down stream — to come and stand with us that day,” Manuel told the Tribune.

Eventually things escalated at the blockade, resulting in two workers’ vehicles being vandalized by the activists, said United Steelworkers Local 4-125 president Paul French.

“It is disheartening,” French told the Tribune. “With all the backlash that’s gone on since the breach it is the workers — who had absolutely nothing to do with it and have only been working hard to try and fix the wrong — that are the ones being victimized by this whole ordeal.”

Manuel, however, alleged a mine worker driving a car tried to ram through the human blockade and that one of the Indigenous women trying to stop him, climbed on the hood and eventually the roof of the car, and was injured when the man drove away and she fell to the ground.

It is believed both the driver of the car and the activists made reports to the RCMP and filed claims with ICBC over the incident.

The blockade did not interrupt the mine’s operation, but the company is looking into the report of one or two incidents of mischief, Imperial Metals vice-president of corporations Steve Robertson said Tuesday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Williams Lake Fire Chief Erick Peterson said his department along with other fire departments in the region will be doing some wildfire urban interface training on Sunday, May 9 in the Williams Lake area. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Wildfire urban interface training slated for Williams Lake area Sunday, May 9

Williams Lake, Quesnel, Miocene and 150 Mile House fire departments participating

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read