Protests appeared throughout the country and turned out to be contrary to B.C. gas pipeline



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Protesters march in support of gas pipeline demonstrators in northwestern British Columbia, Vancouver, on January 8, 2019.

DARRYL DYCK / Canadian Press

Opposition to natural gas pipelines flowing through northern British Columbia is spreading, with dozens of protests stopping traffic in Vancouver and city centers, and a group of protesters have forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change the venues for meeting with native leaders.

A 670-kilometer gas pipeline will transport natural gas from the northeast BC. to the terminal for liquefied natural gas in Kitimat, on the coast. This is a key link in the $ 40 billion LNG project to B.C. and the federal government announced in the midst of a big mistake. Elected representatives of all 20 indigenous belts along the pipeline route signed a contract with the company. Five of these groups belong to the Wet & # 39; suwet's Nation: Wet & # 39; suwet & # 39; First Nation group (formerly known as the Bromine Lake of India), Burns Lake, Nee Tahi Buhn, Skin Tyee and Witset .

Although the elected officials supported the project, some hereditary leaders opposed it, some argued that the pipeline flows through the traditional territory of the Wet & suwet Nation state.

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Branch of TransCanada Corp. Coastal GasLink was issued in December with a court order to remove obstacles that protesters placed on Wet's territory in order to continue building a gas pipeline of 6.2 billion dollars. On Monday, Mounties, who executed the order, arrested 14 people; Such actions and images of heavily armed police raising the doors and foxes of civilians have heightened tensions and encouraged Wet & # 39; suwet & # 39; all across the country.

Security checkpoint on Mile Marker Street 27, where RCMP blocked further access to Unist & # 39; s near Houston, BC, on January 8, 2019.

Jimmy Jeong

On Tuesday, hundreds of people marched through the center of Lake Vancouver and gathered at the Victory Square, where Major General Stewart Phillip, President of the Union b. The Indian chiefs sent a message that was a noisy applause: "I want to tell the Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau: Welcome to the British Columbia battlefield. "

In Ottawa, protesters broke through the door of the conference center, where Mr. Trudeau and members of his cabinet met with heads of self-governing first nations and modern contract holders, with which the group moved to the government building for several kilometers. page.

At the beginning of talks with the chiefs, Mr. Trudeau said: "We still have to overcome many obstacles, many challenges that we will work together, and you know, in this government, you have a partner who is ready to find the way forward …"

Despite the interruptions, he did not address the issue of the gas pipeline.

Place of protests near the river Morica

Coastal GasLink's

pipeline project

Morice R. Forest Service Rd.

TransCanada

existing gas

transfer

system

JOHN SOPINSKI / GLOBE AND MAIL

source: b.c. rcmp; thetyee.ca

Place of protests near the river Morica

Coastal GasLink's

pipeline project

Morice River Forest Service Rd.

TransCanada

existing gas

transfer

system

JOHN SOPINSKI / GLOBE AND MAIL, source: b.c. rcmp;

thetyee.ca

Place of protests near the river Morica

Coastal GasLink's

pipeline project

Morice River Forest Service Rd.

TransCanada

existing gas

transfer

system

JOHN SOPINSKI / GLOBE AND MAIL, source: b.c. rcmp; thetyee.ca

Instead, the Office of Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale issued a statement stating that the government remains committed to renewed attitudes towards indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, and that the RCMP respects and protects the right to peaceful demonstration .

Protesters in Ottawa joined those in towns all over the country. They called "protect the holy, water is life" when they walked through the main hall of the congress center.

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Joyce Eagle, a member of the Fourth Treaty, based in central Prairie, said she had joined the demonstration because she believed that Canada was robbing the earth and the resources of the indigenous peoples.

"Our law goes beyond Canadian law and [Mr. Trudeau] Eagle stressed that the government signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says that indigenous people should not be forced to evict them from their country.

Outside the Supreme Court B.C. Vancouver supporters walked with drums, flags, signs and sampling tubes longer than five meters.

"Look at us, we are violent and empowered," said Audrey Siegl, a member of the Musqueam First Nations group, who helped lead a march. "We unite and climb to save the indigenous people across Canada."

Smaller demonstrations took place in the US and abroad.

Wet & Suwet, Jennifer Wickham, said she was pleased with the scale of these rallies, but she was not surprised.

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"We got a lot from Canadians and those who live abroad. I think people are starting to admit that Wet & # 39; s suits have different rights, "said Mrs Wickham.

On Tuesday, a convoy of police vehicles led to road graders that purified a snowy trail located southwest of Houston. When it fell dark, guide Madonna Saunderson, a representative of the northern RCMP district, said the police would probably continue their journey on Wednesday.

About 30 supporters of Unistot pressed around the fire at the control point, which led to the city.

Supporters of the Unistat blockade set up a small camp at Mile Marker 27, where RCMP blocked further access near Houston, BC, on January 8, 2019.

Jimmy Jeong

Ian Michell and his wife, Arlene, helped set up a big tent with a spongy oven inside for warmth and a propane grill to warm the chilli baths for Wet & # 39; Suwet members who shrunk the temperature that dropped on – 13.

Mr Michell said that he was dissatisfied because the RCMP said that the autochthonous name of the traditional territory of the Wet & suwet 's should be determined by the court.

"Some people have bought the process of electrified bands and their power over reserves. But hereditary chiefs have jurisdiction over the territory of Wet & Suweten, "argued Mr. Michell.

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Mrs Michell said that it is regrettable that the RCMP appears on the territory without authorization.

"The police should work with our people, instead of being aggressive and forcing their way through," she said.

The Wet's Office is a umbrella group for 13 hereditary family groups, which fall under five clans. "We never donated a coastal gas pipeline or a coast. permission, "said Debbie Pierre, Executive Director of the Office. "Our hereditary chiefs can not support this gas pipeline."

In the center of Calgary, about 60 people who took part in the rally supporting the First Nations outside TransCanade Corp. welcomed the approximate number of supporters who were encouraged to come from the Canadian Campaign, a group from lobbying in Calgary.

Stephen Buffalo, president of the Indian Canadian Council for Resources, who represents the first nations producing oil and gas, participated in the pro-gas section of the rally.

"The big thing is that we must be able to support our communities that have responded to it [project] because their community is such a financial benefit, "he said. "It's about getting out of poverty and finding a way for our people."

Coastal GasLink said that police action is not the result that the company ever wanted.

"Instead, we have always strived for opportunities for a fair, open debate on how to resolve this issue," the statement said. "It is sad that RCMP must take this step so that legitimate access can be restored …"

Among those who were arrested on Monday, Delee Nikal was 72-year-old mother.

"When I spoke to her after her release, she said that she really hurt her heart to see people who just proved their rights, their ability to be on their territory in order to tear it out and be forcibly removed" said Nickal, a member of the Wet & # 39; Suwet community from the Gidimt & Casian House Club.

But Mrs. Nikal was in favor of the measures of solidarity.

"The most important thing now," she said, "is to make people wake up and receive notices."

With the Canadian Press report

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