Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds rally in Victoria for Wet’suwet’en pipeline protesters

RCMP arrested 14 people on Jan. 7 in northern B.C.

Hundreds of people blocked traffic in downtown Victoria Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action.

The protest, one of more than 55 planned nationally and internationally, comes after RCMP descended on Wet’suwet’en traditional lands to enforce an interim injunction granted in December by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. The court injunction was to remove two First Nations camps that have been blocking access to a LNG construction site in northwestern B.C. for several weeks.

The RCMP officers arrested 14 people Monday night at the Gitdumt’en camp on Morice West Forest Service Road, including one elder – who was released – Gitdumden spokesperson Molly Wickham and 13 supporters who appear in court in Prince George today.

The rally began at the B.C. legislature, where the crowd took over the front steps chanting “We stand with Unist’ot’en.” Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, and Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, both spoke in support of the rally, condemning the arrests.

The crowd then took to the streets and walked up to the office of Carole James, MLA for the Victoria-Beacon Hill, where they stopped for speeches and song.

In a release from organizers, they say the rally is to denounce state violence on unceded territory.

RELATED: Rallies against B.C. LNG pipeline planned across Canada, U.S.

In a statement sent out after the rally, MP for Victoria Murray Rankin expressed serious concerns regarding the Wet’suwet’sen blockade.

“The federal NDP is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to engage immediately with the Wet’suwet’sen and demonstrate his commitment to real and meaningful reconciliation,” said Rankin. “If Prime Minister Trudeau is serious about his commitments to Indigenous Peoples, he needs to help facilitate a peaceful resolution that respects the rights of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.”

TransCanada, the builders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, announced in September that all 20 First Nations groups along the length of the pipeline route have now signed a project agreement; however, a news release issued Sunday on behalf of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says all five Wet’suwet’en clans, including the Gidimt’en, oppose the construction of oil and gas pipelines in their territory.

“The Wet’suwet’en chiefs have maintained their use and occupancy of their lands and hereditary governance system to this date despite generations of legislative policies that aim to remove us from this land, assimilate our people, and ban our governing system. The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en and the land defenders holding the front lines will never allow Wet’suwet’en sovereignty to be violated,” states a release from the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gitdumden territory.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has called on the federal government to demonstrate its commitment to reconciliation by engaging with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protest



keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people came to the B.C. legislature Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people blocked traffic in downtown Victoria Tuesday Jan. 8 to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Hundreds of people stood outside the office of Carole James, MLA for the Victoria-Beacon Hill, Tuesday to stand in solidarity with Unist’ot’en and Gitdumt’en First Nations during an international Day of Action. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

Victoria police are asking for help locating 14-year-old, high-risk missing youth, Anabella Lilly. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating high-risk missing youth

Police say the circumstances under which 14-year-old Anabella Lilly went missing are ‘high-risk’

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read