‘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.

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

Maple Ridge man faces deportation over father’s honour-killing conviction

Father lied to immigration, was later acquitted of charges in Jassi Sidhu’s murder

Third fire along rail tracks in Pitt Meadows

Fire chief warns vegetation is dry and combustible

UPDATE: Police incident at west Maple Ridge mall

Save-On-Foods closed due to threat, police say

LETTER: The good and bad at Ridge Meadows Hospital

‘I drove to the hospital and paid $6.50 for parking.’

Maple Ridge outfielder back with Canada for Pan Am Games

Larissa Franklin one of four OFs on national women’s softball team.

Scorpion, first brought to Maple Ridge vet, gives birth after hitching ride in woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read