Indigenous youth have been occupying the front entrance of BC Legislature in Victoria in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en for six days, and today, a number of supporters have blocked all entrances ahead of this afternoon’s Throne Speech.
The demonstration is the latest in a series of actions across the country supporting Wet’suwet’en land defenders as the RCMP removes them from a pipeline construction route in northern BC.
The RCMP have been enforcing a court order in recent days that allows Coastal GasLink to continue construction on its new liquified natural gas pipeline that crosses Wet’suwet’en territory to transport product to port in Kitimat, BC.
— Mark Worthing (@OrcaCedarbough) February 11, 2020
Entrances to the building are being blocked – there are 2 crowds here, 1 out of frame to the right on the steps to the @bclegislature library entrance. NDP MLA @s_malcolmson seen trying to enter here as th demonstrators drum and chant ‘Shame!’ #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/VvcMuCXe1Q
— BC Today (@BCTodayOfficial) February 11, 2020
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip are here at the legislature for the press conference at 11:30am pic.twitter.com/F32hskp52S
— UBCIC (@UBCIC) February 11, 2020
BREAKING NEWS: All entrances of the BC Legislature are currently blocked in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en.
The Throne Speech was suppose to be today…
— 𝓔𝓵𝓲𝔃𝓪𝓫𝓮𝓽𝓱 𝓛𝓲𝓵𝓵𝔂 (@ChitkwesuManetu) February 11, 2020
BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson tweeted that he is looking forward to a conclusion of the blockade so elected officials can “get to work” ahead of the speech this afternoon.
While peaceful protest is part of our democracy, the safety, security & function of the Legislature is essential so we can do our work for B.C. We look forward to an orderly conclusion to the current blockade of the Legislature & essential infrastructure throughout B.C. #bcpoli
— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) February 11, 2020
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip addressed the crowd of supporters in the blockade, saying that BC Premier John Horgan is not serious about reconciliation.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today, for standing up for the hereditary chiefs, for our own system of governance, that seeks to protect the integrity of the land, the environment, and the water,” said Phillip.
“Reconciliation will never be achieved at gunpoint.”
With files from Megan Devlin