This was the scene at the main entrance to the homeless camp in Regina Park early Thursday afternoon. Activist Ashley Mollison has

Saanich activist charges police with “cruel and inhumane” approach towards homeless camp

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement calls for 24-hour-vigil outside Regina Park.

As residents of the homeless camp continue to depart Regina Park, a camp advocate has raised serious charges against Saanich Police.

Ashley Mollison of Alliance Against Displacement has raised a series of charges against authorities in accusing them of strong-arm tactics.

“Saanich bulldozing tent city,” she said in a tweet Thursday afternoon. “Literally. Supporters and media not allowed in. Campers aren’t allowed to talk to each other, leave, or buy dope. 1 resident already arrested. I wasn’t allowed in cause I called it a police state. So #policestate. Not cool @saanich.”

Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police confirmed police arrested one person, whom officers have since released.

“There was one arrest this morning (without incident),” he said. “However, that person has been released and is now back at the encampment retrieving his belongings.”

When asked about the charges in Mollison’s tweets, Leslie declined to comment

“We have no position on an individual’s tweet,” he said.

Mollison’s Thursday afternoon was among several in which she attacked police behaviour.

“Such an inhumane and cruel approach to homelessness,” she wrote on Twitter earlier Thursday. “Not only do people have nowhere to go, the strong arm of the state is moving in to tear down homes and lives. Is this what you wanted @saanich ???”

Related: Saanich police to surround homeless camp in Regina Park

Mollison leveled this charge among others in a series of social media postings that started late Wednesday. She focused specifically on the police’s use of spotlights that police had erected outside the camp Wednesday.

Mollison continued to raise concerns, when Thursday morning, after police had told her that supporters of the camp would not be able to assist residents in helping them pack up.

She later spoke of a “state violence” in asking the public to participate in a 24-hour vigil.

These charges hovered in the background Thursday morning as several police officers supervised residents as they packed up their belongings. The Saanich News could not access the site. Observations from outside the fencing erected Wednesday show large piles of belongings and garbage placed among the remaining tents. During the course of the early afternoon, observers witnessed trucks and other heavy machinery coming and go from the site.

Police officers positioned near the two main entrances also asked pedestrians about their respective destinations. Police officers also kept media at a distance from the entrance near the intersection of Harriet Road and Battleford Avenue.

A sense of apprehension appeared to be in the air early Thursday, some 24 hours before a planned rally marking the end of the camp.

Related: Tent city in Saanich shuts down

But observers Thursday also witnessed several lighter moments. During one such moment, a male camp resident and a female Saanich police were kicking a soccer across the field.

The Saanich News also asked the District of Saanich for comment and will update the story accordingly.

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

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read