Victoria Police have confirmed that four people have come forward as victims of assault during the Wet’suwet’en protests at the BC legislature on Tuesday.
Police issued a call for witnesses and victims of alleged assaults to come forward on Tuesday.
In an update on Wednesday, officers stated that three people reported minor injuries sustained during the protests in which politicians, staff, and reporters were barred from entering the Legislature building ahead of the Throne speech on Tuesday.
The fourth person who reported an assault was not injured but stated that the equipment they were carrying was damaged.
Police have not clarified whether the assault victims were protesters, legislature staff, politicians, or reporters. No suspects have been identified as the investigation is in its early stages.
VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko tells Victoria Buzz that no one required transport to hospital.
Osoko also says there is video evidence of an assault in at least one of the four incidents, but it remains to be seen whether this footage will be shared with public.
“All victims of violence deserve to be heard,” said Osoko in a phone call to Victoria Buzz. “We welcome anyone, doesn’t matter who or what role they played on Tuesday, if they witness something and want to report an assault, we’ll listen to them.”
While protesters have vehemently denied allegations of assault, reiterating that it was a peaceful protest and organizers instructed everyone to keep their hands to themselves, Victoria Police are investigating these now confirmed incidents and continue to ask witnesses and victims to come forward.
Councillor Ben Isitt took to Twitter on Tuesday night to denounce VicPD, stating that allegations of assault are “hogwash designed to discredit Indigenous youth and their supporters”.
VicPD Chief Del Manak responded to this tweet, calling Isitt’s comments “off base and disrespectful”.
Isitt went on to denounce “corporate media” in a blog post, accusing press of “frantically spinning the non-violent blockade of the legislature as some kind of ‘violent protest’”.
More information is expected to be made available about these alleged assaults as the investigation unfolds.
Anyone who has information about these incidents is asked to contact VicPD at (250) 995-7654.