‘Welcome to battleground B.C.’: Hundreds rally against LNG pipeline

Vancouver’s downtown was packed with Indigenous people and environmental activists

Hundreds of people took to the streets of downtown Vancouver and packed Victory Square on Tuesday to show their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C.

The protest was held in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people who have set up two anti-pipeline camps southwest of Smithers to block the project. Fourteen people were arrested there on Monday for allegedly violating a court order to stay away from the work sites.

READ MORE: RCMP enforce pipeline injunction

READ MORE: RCMP arrest 14 people in northern B.C. over anti-LNG pipeline protest

The pipeline will carry natural gas 670 kilometres from the Peace region to a recently-approved $40-billion LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat.

The initial focus of the demonstration was the arrests and the LNG pipeline, the rally in Vancouver unleashed a deep-seated anger among participants against what one speaker called “500 years of colonial oppression.”

People held signs that read “Respect Indigenous rights and title” and “RCMP get out of Wet’suwet’en territories.”

Protesters called on the government to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada adopted in 2016.

Along with signs, a black PVC pipe with “Made in Canada” stamped along the sides was carried through the streets to represent the Coastal GasLink project.

Vancouver’s rally was one of dozens held across Canada and the United States. It remained peaceful, with dozens of police officers directing marchers and holding back traffic.

Speaking from the stairs in Victory Square, Christy David of the Moricetown Band spoke of how important today was to her family in northern B.C.

“My sisters and my brothers are hurting right now. My relations are standing on the front lines and they’re freezing,” said David, whose band is part of the Wet’suwet’en people.

“Their bodies are cold, but their spirit is strong. They don’t want anything to do with that black snake.”

Reuben George, of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation near Squamish , said 2019 would be a “watershed year” in the fight against pipelines.

“Justin Trudeau, welcome to battleground British Columbia,” George yelled out to the crowd. “We’re going to take this battle to the highest levels of government and this time we’re going to win.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

An earlier version of this story said the Coastal Gas Link pipeline would carry liquified natural gas. It will carry the product in gas form.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford has been located

Police report that Antonio Fernandez, 29, has been found safe and sound

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Man who broke into Abbotsford post office receives four more months in jail

Gary Patrick Richard sentenced for break-in and mail theft from April 20

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read