UPDATE: Perry Ridge logging protestors have change of heart
Two Perry Ridge protestors didn’t spend a long time in jail after agreeing to signing undertakings not to return to the site.
Marilyn James and Dennis Zarelli were arrested for failure to comply with an injunction issued the day before.
The two were jailed after not agreeing to sign an undertaking that they would not return to the blockade site.
However, Tuesday both James, spokeswoman for the Sinixt in the area, and Zarelli, were released after changing their minds and will be back in court March 17 for a contempt hearing.
Two Perry Ridge logging protestors remain in jail after arrest
A noisy protest ended a long wait in BC Supreme Court Tuesday as two Perry Ridge logging protesters were led back to their jail cells after their court hearing.
Marilyn James and Dennis Zarelli remain in jail after being arrested early March 4 for failure to comply with an injunction issued the day before.
Sinixt spokesperson James and supporter Zarelli were arrested at the Perry Ridge blockade Tuesday morning when they refused to allow workers from Galena Contractors to proceed with road building work on Perry Ridge.
“I am a Sinixt woman and I have cultural responsibilities. I am the matriarch,” James told BC Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan, who appeared by video at the Nelson Courthouse.
James would not agree to sign an undertaking that she would not return to the blockade site.
Justice McEwan did not release her from custody.
Zarelli also refused to sign an undertaking.
They will remain in custody until March 17, McEwan said, unless they sign the undertaking.
Both James and Zarelli wanted to address other issues, such as Justice McEwan recusing himself from the case, rather than deal with the terms of their release.
“Stop it!” the judge admonished Zarelli. “The purpose of this hearing is whether I will release you by March 17.”
McEwan instructed the Court that the pair are to be released from custody “the minute they agree not to go to the site.”
On Monday, McEwan extended a temporary injunction, granted in Vancouver Supreme Court on February 21, until June 30.
The injunction prohibits anyone from interfering with Galena Contracting of Nakusp who has a contract with BC Timber Sales to log about 5,000 cubic meters of timber from an eight km logging road on Perry Ridge.
The injunction is a result of a civil suit filed by Galena Contractors in July, 2013 against James, Zarelli, Robert Watt, Vance Robert Campbell, John and Jane Doe asking for a permanent injunction to prevent the protestors from interfering with their logging.
The blockade was set up about a year ago and has been occupied by Sinixt and supporters since that time.
The courtroom, filled with about two-dozen Sinixt supporters, erupted in noisy protest as the pair delivered war cries as they were led away to the cells.