Protester on Highway 1 in Burnaby arrested after locking himself to barrel of concrete

A man has been arrested after police say he anchored himself to a barrel full of concrete on Highway 1 in Burnaby Wednesday morning.

This was the latest in a string of demonstrations staged by the group “Save Old Growth.” Demonstrators walked onto the highway shortly before 8 a.m., bringing traffic to a crawl  through the Burnaby Lake stretch for about an hour.

RCMP say when they arrived at the scene, most of the demonstrators left, but one man who had locked his ankle to a barrel filled with concrete stayed on the highway. Police say the protester, who has been identified by Save Old Growth as 69-year-old Bill Winder, refused to leave.

“Police were able to carefully move him to a safe area, where the Burnaby Fire Department used specialized equipment to safely remove the lock from the man’s leg,” reads a statement from Burnaby RCMP.

Highway 1 Save Old Growth protest

A man locked himself to a barrel on Highway 1 in Burnaby on Apr. 13, 2022. (Courtesy: Save Old Growth Media)

“Federal and provincial governments have egregiously neglected their duty to combat climate breakdown. It is up to us now to make sure the government understands that climate breakdown is not part of life — it is the end of life as we know it,” said Winder, as communicated to media by Save Old Growth.

Winder was arrested for mischief.

Westbound traffic was heavily delayed for about an hour due to the protest. The eastbound lanes were not affected.

The group has rallied several times on highways and bridges in recent weeks, often completely shutting down routes. Organizers have previously said it is rallying to bring an end to logging of old-growth forests in B.C., saying “this is our last resort.”

Another protest in the same area on Jan. 10 led to the arrest of three people. In late March, charges of mischief were approved against those protesters.

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“Demonstrators have a right to lawful, peaceful and safe protest, but this event created significant safety concerns for the travelling public and for those individuals who blocked this busy intersection during the morning commute,” said Corp. Mike Kalanj with the Burnaby RCMP.

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