Two supporters of the Wet’suwet’en protest movement were arrested by Legislature Security on Thursday morning.
According to a statement from Nikki Sanchez, spokesperson for the Indigenous Youth For Wet’suwet’en movement, two young supporters were using water soluble spray chalk on the steps of the Legislature when they were approached by security staff.
They were detained for about 20 minutes, then released and walked to the edge of the grounds, where they were told that they were not allowed to return to the Legislature.
Sanchez says Legislature security prevented legal observers from witnessing the arrest and detainment.
The two individuals were allegedly using the chalk to spray slogans used by the protesters, like ‘Reconciliation is Dead’ and ‘Land Back’.
Two Wet’suwet’en supporters were arrested by Legislature security this morning for using water soluble chalk to paint messages like ‘Land Back’ and ‘Reconciliation is Dead’. Video by @IY4wetsuweten #yyj @victoriabuzzes pic.twitter.com/ROSJcALis6
— Brishti Basu (@brish_ti) February 27, 2020
In a statement on Thursday, Victoria Police confirmed that they are assisting Legislative security staff in conducting an investigation into this incident.
“Efforts to determine what the substance is and how to clean it are underway,” said police in their statement.
Police also allege that messages written in spray chalk included profanity, but the group at the Legislature deny these claims. Reports of profanity have not been independently verified by Victoria Buzz.
Supporters standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are opposed to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C. have been protesting day and night at the Legislature since February 24th.
In a statement on Thursday, the office of the B.C. Premier confirmed that federal and provincial governments will be meeting with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs today and tomorrow to discuss the pipeline issue and the ongoing road and rail blockades across Canada.