'She's a hero': Group holds vigil for Muskrat Falls protester behind bars

About 50 people gathered outside the RCMP detachment in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Monday evening where fellow Muskrat Falls protester, Beatrice Hunter, is being held.

Beatrice Hunter will be in custody until her hearing on Monday

Beatrice Hunter was taken into custody Monday, after she told the court she would not promise to stay away from the Muskrat Falls construction site if released from custody. (Katie Breen/CBC)

About 50 people gathered outside the RCMP detachment in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Monday evening where fellow Muskrat Falls protester, Beatrice Hunter, is being held.

"Hopefully we can send some good energy through these walls," Jacinda Beals said, as she addressed the group gathered on police station's front lawn.

"She deserves our support. She's a hero."

Hunter was taken into custody Monday afternoon during proceedings for a Muskrat Falls protest that took place over the Victoria Day long weekend.

During the gathering Monday evening, which organizers called a "vigil for Beatrice," the group circled the RCMP detachment chanting and carrying Labrador flags on sticks.

When passing by the holding cell windows, some flag carriers hoisted their flags, tapping them on the pane.

'She heard us'

From the inside, you could hear muffled tapping and see what appeared to be hands waving at the windows which are high and have bars on them.

"Definitely, she heard us," said Linda Saunders-McLean, who believes the hands waving in the window belonged to Hunter.

"You could see that probably really gave her that incentive to keep doing what she's doing."

Given opportunity to stay out of jail

During Monday's Supreme Court appearance, Justice George Murphy asked Hunter whether she would stay away from the megaproject sire if she were allowed out of custody.

Hunter said no.

The other three people who appeared in court Monday alongside Hunter were asked the same question, and replied that they would keep from impeding the project. They were allowed to leave.

Beatrice Hunter was taken into custody on Monday afternoon. (Muskrat Falls Land Protectors/Facebook)

"I am concerned for her because she is a mother, she is a grandmother and she is alone," said Saunders-McLean, who says she inhabited the main Muskrat Falls worksite along with Hunter and a number of others last October.

After that protest, which shut down the construction site for a number of days, Saunders-McLean and Hunter signed the same undertaking committing to the court to stay a kilometre away from all Muskrat Falls sites.

"The reason why I came [to the gathering at the RCMP building] is to show that we are still here and we're not going away," said Saunders-McLean.

"We will continue to voice our concerns about what's happening to our homes [and] our community."

Hunter is expected to appear in provincial court on Tuesday afternoon, at a hearing for inhabiting the main site last October. 

Other group members who are slated to appear Tuesday temporarily blocked the transport vehicle that was brought in to move Hunter from Supreme Court to the RCMP detachment on Monday afternoon. 

The group dismantled once police told participants they'd be charged with obstruction if they continued to prevent officers from getting through. 

Linda Saunders-McLean attended the vigil Monday evening. (Katie Breen/CBC)


Katie Breen

Video producer

Katie Breen makes video content for CBC in St. John's. She's been working in news for 10 years. You can reach her at