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