VIDEO: Protesters chain doors shut at DFO office in Saanich

Fish farm protesters removed from Commerce Circle for a second time

Fish farm protester Tsastilqualus Ambers was back at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans office Saanich on Thursday.

The 67-year-old was removed by Saanich Police as she and Shawna Green sat in lawn chairs in front of the doors of the DFO office, which they had chained and locked, penning the employees inside.

Saanch Police attended at about 8:30 a.m.

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It’s a return to the DFO office for Ambers, of the Ma’amtagila Nation, as she and two others camped at the Commerce Circle office in protestation over open-net fish farms for a month between mid November and Dec. 19. Both times they were removed by the Saanich Police Community Engagement division.

They “refused to remove themselves from the DFO office, situated on unceded WSANEC territories,” said a post on their Facebook page, Fish Farms Out Now.

Most of the incident, a peaceful protest, is posted in a video on Fish Farms Out Now’s Facebook page. In the video, Sgt. Andy Stuart is seen speaking at length to Ambers and Green.

Officers discussed with the women if they would remove the chains from the doors however they were unwilling to remove them, said Sgt. Jereme Leslie. The women then agreed that if they were arrested for mischief they would peacefully give up the key and go with the officers.

At around 9 a.m., the women were arrested for mischief and the chain was removed from the doors.

Related: See map of Atlantic salmon caught in B.C. waters

It’s anticipated the women will be placed on conditions not to attend the property on Commerce Circle and appear before the courts at a later date, Leslie said.

“This action was carried out in solidarity with the many indigenous nations opposing illegal fish farms which are contaminating their unceded territories and wild salmon populations,” said the post.

Ambers and others have spent a considerable amount of time in front of Premier John Horgan’s Langford MLA office.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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