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Burnaby Trans Mountain worker 'knocked unconscious' amid tree-sit protest: police

Two people were arrested on Friday
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RCMP in Burnaby are using a lift bucket to reach Trans Mountain protesters.

Two people were arrested and one worker was injured Friday as Burnaby RCMP attempted to clear more protesters from a Trans Mountain site, said police.

The first demonstrator was arrested around 9:30 a.m. after trespassing into a fenced area on private property owned by BNSF Railway, in violation of a court ordered injunction stating they could not obstruct, impede, or otherwise prevent access to Trans Mountain work sites.

Around noon, Burnaby RCMP officers returned to the area, located west of North Road and south of Highway 1, responding to reports that a Trans Mountain worker had been injured after being struck on the head by a branch near an occupied tree-sit.

“The worker was knocked unconscious and has been taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries, including a possible concussion,” said police in a news release. “It appears the branch fell on the worker while the protester was rapelling between tree-sits.”

RCMP officers trained in high-angle rescue were called to the area. The demonstrator from the tree-sit safely came down on his own around 3:20 p.m.

The demonstrator was arrested at the scene. The incident remains under investigation, police said.

Protesters have been occupied trees in this forested area along the Brunette River for more than a year as Trans Mountain looks to cut more than 1,300 trees.

Zain Haq, 20, who was arrested, said in a news release: “The future of life on this planet is at stake. We must put a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure … This twinned pipeline poses tremendous risk locally, and globally once the product is burned. The consequences of inaction are catastrophic. As a young person, I am motivated to do whatever I can to dampen the horrors of the not-so-distant future: mass starvation, breakdown of ecosystems, mass extinction, etc.”


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