A group of around 40 demonstrators gathered in Langford on Wednesday morning to protest the building of a liquefied natural gas pipeline in the Wet’suwet’en Access point near Houston, B.C.
Organized by local grassroots organization Rise and Resist, the protestors gathered in front of the West Shore RCMP detachment, proceeded along the overpass on Highway 14/Millstream Road, and then demonstrated at Premier John Horgan’s Office.
A press release from the organizers stated that the purpose of the rally is to “express discontent with Canada’s conduct, hold the RCMP to account for ongoing colonial violence toward the Wet’suwet’en people and their allies, and call on Premier John Horgan and the BC government to respect ‘anuc niwh’it’en (Wet’suwet’en law) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
— Council of Cdns, Vic (@cocvic) January 16, 2019
A statement from West Shore RCMP after the protest stated that the demonstrators disrupted police operations by gathering in front of the Atkins Ave detachment.
According to the release, protestors used three vehicles to block public access to the building which meant that several community volunteers for the RCMP’s Speedwatch Program weren’t able to leave the premises through the front.
“The RCMP fully support the right to peaceful and safe protest,” says Cpl. Chris Dovell. “But businesses and community volunteers also have the right to conduct meetings.
Vehicle traffic was disrupted on Veterans Memorial Parkway, Jacklin Road and Goldstream Avenue.
However, police emergency operations were not affected by the protest, and no arrests were made.