RCMP arrest 14 people in northern BC over anti LNG pipeline protest

Activists call RCMP's plan to remove Indigenous blockade of B.C. pipeline an 'act of war'

Activists call RCMP's plan to remove Indigenous blockade of B.C. pipeline an 'act of war'

Victoria is among the almost 30 rallies already scheduled as organizers call for an global day of action Tuesday in support of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.

Members of the Gidimt'en clan of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation had set up a camp to control access to a pipeline project that runs across their territory.

In the wake of the RCMP's arrest of 14 people from a blockade to a forest service road in northern British Columbia that is preventing access to a pipeline project, a solidarity demonstration is being held in Greater Sudbury today.

The checkpoints are meant to keep workers away from the construction site for TransCanada PipeLines Ltd.'s $4.7-billion, 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline, which will deliver natural gas from Dawson Creek to a planned LNG Canada facility near Kitimat.

The Wet'suwet'en hereditary leadership - who have jurisdiction over 22,000 square kilometers of traditional territories - have not given their free, prior, and informed consent in accordance with UNDRIP to any oil or gas company to build pipelines in their lands and waters.

"They said that they would have to talk to the commander of operations".

As Canadian police forces try to enforce a court injunction backing the construction of a natural gas pipeline through Wet'suwet'en territory, a First Nations group has vowed to not back down from protecting what they see as unceded land and their supporters have announced dozens of solidarity actions scheduled for Tuesday in cities across North America. They're also prohibited from threatening, intimidating or getting within 10 metres of anyone actively working on the project.

Indigenous demonstrators are expecting RCMP action over the injunction filed against them, and rally organizers said on Facebook the protesters "are facing an imminent raid by the RCMP along with Uni'stot'en camp".

On Tuesday, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations condemned the RCMP's actions as a violation of the Wet'suwet'en people's rights. Any move the Wet'suwet'en peoples by the RCMP, by the order of the Trudeau government, would directly violate UNDRIP.

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During the arrests, officers saw a number of fires being lit, as well as large, felled trees, along the road.

Media are not being permitted to pass the RCMP exclusion zone established on the forest service road at the 27 kilometre mark.

In response to claims the RCMP is simply enforcing a court-ordered injunction, Huson also points to moments in history.

After much anticipation this morning (Monday), several RCMP officers have met with campers near Houston. One of the people arrested was Molly Wickham, spokeswoman for the Cas Yex house of the Gidimt'en clan.

TransCanada has said it is not asking for the camp at the bridge to be dismantled, only for access to its pipeline right of way.

"It is unfortunate that the RCMP must take this step so that lawful access for this public bridge and road can be re-established", he said.

She says the pipeline is going to "compromise and jeopardize" the vision the First Nation has for the space as a healing centre, and cites safety concerns for the community. The company has engaged with all First Nations groups along the project, both hereditary and elected, and also has some hereditary support, said Cunha. Despite what appeared to a be a subdued start to their interaction with demonstrators, the force said in a statement that night that more than a dozen people had been taken into custody, adding that officers felt confident the standoff could not be resolved without their involvement. "In any situation such as this, we hope all parties find a safe and mutually respectful resolution", he said.

Rallies are planned in 30 cities in Canada and the USA on Tuesday - including Vancouver, Victoria, Chilliwack, Lilooet, Nelson, Cortes Island and Prince George - in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en.

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