Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Rally held in downtown Calgary in support of B.C. pipeline protesters

Rally held in downtown Calgary in support of B.C. pipeline protesters

A pipeline by TransCanada subsidiary Coastal GasLink is to carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to Kitimat, B.C.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says the continued police presence ignores previous court cases that give Indigenous groups land and title rights to the area.

"We're very concerned", Tait says.
"I want to say to Prime Minister Trudeau: Welcome to battle ground British Columbia".

"What happened today is that our trespass laws were broken, but according to Canadian law, which is being steered by industry, they say that these people are now criminals", said Wet'suwet'en Chief Namoks streamed on Facebook Live. These protests have caused a complete standstill in the Toronto core as community members march with signs and chant in protest of the BC pipeline. "We hope our community is supportive of that".

"It's about getting out of poverty and finding a way for our people".

There were at least 12 confirmed arrests, including an elder, and Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs were blocked from their own territories. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, B.C. Premier Horgan, and Coastal GasLink must respect the rights of the Wet'suwet'en. The injunction is to remove anyone who interferes with a Coastal GasLink pipeline project in and around the Morice River Bridge.

He said the pipeline will meet rigorous environment standards and bring significant benefits, including an estimated 2,500 jobs, many with First Nations contractors.

"Sovereignty issues are issues that Indigenous people have faced for years and that's really what we're trying to talk about".

"Building consensus under duress will make the resolution of the situation in northern British Columbia very hard", Perry Bellegarde said in a statement Tuesday.

"Real consensus will be built when the parties, with very different views, come together in a meaningful and productive dialogue", his statement goes on. "And I am confident that they can do this". It points to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their territories.

In a statement, RCMP said officers spoke with representatives of the camp about the removal of a road block along the roadway, and set up a meeting between hereditary chiefs and Coastal GasLink. She, along with other arrestees, will not be released.

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The RCMP have now installed a roadblock on the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) Road, through Gidumt'en territory and the only access road to Unist'ot'en Camp, effectively cutting off communications, media, and supplies to those living there, including clients of the Healing Center.

"It is a national issue", Sinclair said.

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen, who represents the area, said the protest he witnessed on Monday was "determined" but "peaceful".

The march in Vancouver is part of a larger global day of action organized in support of those at the Unist'ot'en camp.

Temporary exclusion zones and road closures were established in the area and remains in place.

LNG Canada announced on October 2 that its joint venture participants had taken a positive investment decision to construct the Kitimat export facility. Construction on the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline is scheduled to begin this month.

Police watch over duelling protests in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.

"They're a sovereign nation and that's their own territory", local activist Lorena Shepley said of the unceded territory belonging to the Wet'suwet'en Nation.

Those in attendance voiced their opposition to the events in B.C. and performed traditional Indigenous rituals such as smudging, a ceremony that involves the burning of sacred herbs.

A sign for a blockade check point by the Gidimt'en clan of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.

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