A dozen people arrested during shale gas protests on Route 126 in New Brunswick Friday have been released.
Around 2:30 p.m. Friday, five women and three men were arrested for blocking traffic on the road south of Rogersville. Shortly before 4 p.m., three more men and another woman were arrested, bringing Friday's arrest total to 12.
RCMP said all twelve have been charged with mischief for blocking traffic on Route 126 south of Rogersville, New Brunswick.
Some of them have also been charged with resisting arrest.
RCMP Cpl. Chantal Farrah said the arrests were made because the demonstrators were breaking the law.
"I think it’s an important point to remind people that the role of the police, at demonstrations or at any site, is really to ensure public safety and community safety. We’re a neutral party, so really our role is to ensure as much the demonstrators’ safety, as people in that area and as people working there," she said.
Farrah said the arrests have only been made when people break the law and impede the work of those on the site — which she said is lawful work.
"In the past few weeks we’ve seen arrests in the area of the 126, pertaining to activities there, and the reason that you’ve seen arrests there is because people were breaking the law," said Farrah.
"As the police, we respect and we encourage people to voice their opinions and to [demonstrate] but there’s a few things they need to respect at all times and that’s public safety — so they have to make sure they are doing things safely, doing things lawfully and making sure they keep the peace. So when those things are being respected, the demonstrations that have been happening have been going very smoothly."
There was an RCMP presence in the area Saturday as the protests continued.
But so far there have been no new arrests.
In total, more than 30 people have been charged since the demonstrations began earlier this month.
"There are many ways to get your point across, it’s just you have to remember to keep them legal and safe," said Farrah.