A group of people stood outside the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment protesting the police blockade at the Unist’ot’en camp, where Indigenous people and supporters are trying to stop the Coastal GasLink pipeline from going through their land. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Anti-LNG pipeline in Prince Rupert shows support for Wet’suwet’en

Nearly a dozen Indigenous people gathered outside the RCMP station to protest Coastal GasLink

Indigenous people from Prince Rupert are joining protests across the country in response to arrests made in Wet’suwet’en traditional lands southwest of Smithers.

At 10 a.m. on Jan. 8, a group of approximately eleven people met outside the Prince Rupert RCMP station on Sixth Avenue West. They are members of Hartley Bay, Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla, Kitkatla, Tahltan, Haida, Gitxsan and Cherokee First Nations.

“What is happening to them is outrageous,” said Lara Peterson, a Metlakatla member and one of the organizers of the protest. “They’re arresting elderly women and other women for standing their ground and saying they want clean water.

“…In order for everybody to know and to be heard, this is what we have to do and we’re not going to back down and we’re not going away.”

After gathering outside the entrance of RCMP station on Sixth Avenue, the group moved to McBride Street where they held signs and chanted slogans. Cars drove by and honked their support.

On Jan. 7, RCMP officers arrested 14 people who are part of an effort to block the Coastal GasLink pipeline from being built on their lands.

The Unist’ot’en camp, Gitdumden checkpoint blocked a forest service road needed by Coastal GasLink workers to do pre-construction in the area for the pipeline. The RCMP were enforcing a court injunction against the protesters and the checkpoint impeding the progress of the workers.

“The primary concerns of the police are public safety, police officer safety, and preservation of the right to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the Supreme Court in the injunction,” a Jan. 6 RCMP press release said.

A post on the Unist’ot’en Facebook page said the RCMP enforcement was an “act of war,” and called for international help with donations or “physical support.”

The Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs threw their support behind the Wet’suwet’en chiefs in a press release on Jan. 8.

“We consider all persons to be trespassers that attempt to use a permit issued and sold by the Province of BC in these circumstance,” said Simogyet Twem Neak, Brenton Williams, chair person of Gitxsan Treaty Society. “Our hereditary chiefs are obligated to step in to protect our jursidiction and at the same time we are prepared to engage in a collaborative process and dialogue with a progressive MLA like Minister Doug Donaldson.”

Fifty-five rallies have since taken place in communities both across the country and internationally in response to the arrests.

On Jan. 7, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen released a statement asking the federal government to engage with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to find a resolution to the issue.

“I am calling on the federal government to engage with the Wet’suwet’en and demonstrate Prince Minister Trudeau’s commitment to real and meaningful reconciliation,” Cullen said.

The 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline project would move natural gas from Dawson Creek to the LNG Canada facility on the coast of Kitimat.

With files from Chris Gareau

FOR MORE: MP visits Wet’suwet’en blockade to support peaceful resolution

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.



Send Newsroom email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

A group of people stood outside the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment protesting the police blockade at the Unist’ot’en camp, where Indigenous people and supporters are trying to stop the Coastal GasLink pipeline from going through their land. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Johan Dejong holds an LNG protest sign during a rally against the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Jan. 8 on McBride Street. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Just Posted

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Bridgeview Marine builds fishing fleet for Queen Charlotte Lodge

Since October, the Prince Rupert-based company has been working on nine vessels for the lodge

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Service honours Marlene Swift’s life and work with North Coast Victims Services

RCMP, Prince Rupert residents attend a ceremony for Swift from inside the Salvation Army on May 23

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read