[Pnews] Police arrest 43 Wet'suwet'en solidarity protesters at Port of Vancouver

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 11 12:24:25 EST 2020


  Police arrest 43 Wet'suwet'en solidarity protesters at Port of Vancouver

Alyse Kotyk and Sheila Scott - February 10, 2020

VANCOUVER -- Protesters demonstrating in solidarity with the 
Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs opposed to a major natural gas pipeline 
in northern B.C. were arrested by the dozens Monday morning after 
blocking access to the Port of Vancouver.

The Vancouver Police Department confirmed 43 people were taken into 
custody as officers enforced a court order to clear three entry points 
at the port.

"They refused to abide by the court order and did not clear access to 
the port after requested by police. All 43 people have been released 
with conditions to abide by the injunction," the department said in a 
news release.

The port entry points were cleared "without any major incidents," 
according to police.

Protesters who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline project began 
blocking both the Port of Vancouver and Deltaport over the weekend. They 
were served with an injunction on Sunday.

The situation remained fairly quiet outside the Vancouver port 
overnight, however about two dozen officers arrived at about 5 a.m. 
Monday and protesters were warned that they needed to move off the road 
or face arrest.

“What they’re doing is standing up for us,” said protestor Jordan 
Hollarsmith. “What everyone here is defending is the right to a clean, 
and healthy, and safe future.”

After the warning was issued by police using a loudspeaker, dozens moved 
to the sidewalk to continue their demonstration, while a handful 
remained in the middle of the road around a fire.

Arrests were made slowly over the course of several hours, with some 
protestors being carried away by VPD officers to a waiting police van.

While the protest remained mostly peaceful, at one point glass was 
smashed near a VPD officer and fireworks were shot into the air from the 

By 7:30 a.m, only one protestor, identified by the crowd as an 
Indigenous elder, remained at the sacred fire in the intersection. A 
Vancouver police officer spoke with the woman for several minutes as the 
crowd shouted and chanted at police.

She was eventually put into a police vehicle and driven away.

“Watching someone defend this land and being arrested for it by the 
police was really difficult and really upsetting,” said environmental 
activist Kristin Street. “We are very angry. We are very upset. We are 
going to do anything to make sure the marginalized voices in this 
country that continue to be ignored are upheld in whatever way we can.”

By 10 a.m., police had cleared the protesters and the intersection was 
open again.

Another dozen protesters blocked Deltaport in Delta on Sunday and the 
injunction was issued in response to an application from the Vancouver 
Fraser Port Authority and B.C. Maritime Employers Association after more 
than 250 employees were unable to get to work.

Red Braid, a group that has associated themselves with the protests 
outside Deltaport, posted on social media that arrests were happening 
there as well on Monday morning.

    As the police drag our people out of the circle and into police
    wagons, ALL we are thinking of is the Wet’suwet’en facing Canada’s
    domestic militia at the Unist’ot’en bridge. We are one! We are
    indivisible! pic.twitter.com/DI2ACdUHJq <https://t.co/DI2ACdUHJq>

    — Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism (@stopdisplacemnt)
    February 10, 2020

Delta police confirmed with CTV News Vancouver that arrests were taking 
place, adding that officers spoke to protesters "and offered them the 
opportunity to protest at another, safe location nearby." Fourteen 
people were arrested in total, police said.

The Metro Vancouver protests continued in conjunction with 
demonstrations elsewhere across the country. Indigenous youth and 
supporters continue to camp overnight on the front steps of the B.C. 
legislature in Victoria, and VIA Rail passenger train service was 
cancelled on Sunday between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa because of a 
blockade in Belleville, Ont. in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary 

Local protestors are meeting Monday afternoon not talk about what comes 
next, but say this likely won’t be the last time people in Metro 
Vancouver feel the impact of the controversial project.

Later Monday afternoon, a group of several hundred protesters regrouped 
near Main and Hastings streets to continue their demonstration. 
Vancouver police said the moving protest was impacting traffic on the 
Downtown Eastside.

“No one is backing down,” Street said. “We are in it for the long haul.”

/With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure /

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