‘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

Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond, left, and SOS executive director Susanna Newton right are prepared for a reinvented Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive in 2020. COVID-19 will not spoil the community’s annual day of giving and help for local families through the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. (Peter McCully photo)
Reinventing Parksville Qualicum Beach’s popular Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive

COVID-19 restrictions won’t spoil community’s annual morning of giving

Map of the location of the Telus cell tower that it plans to build in Qualicum Beach. (Town of Qualicum Beach Map)
Qualicum Beach council approves location of Telus communications tower

Plan is to improve cellphone service in the area

The City of Quesnel has painted its functional fire hydrants with different characters. (Quesnel Downtown Association Photo)
Qualicum Beach committee wants fire hydrants painted with sea life designs

Local artists would be invited to help with the work

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read